Explosion in Sunderland house

Sunderland residents saw smoke rising above fields

Shocking images taken after the incident showed the extent of the damage, with one semi-detached house wrecked and half of the property next door flattened.

But her sister, Tracy Tia Judson, said that Shepherd avoided more serious injury thanks to her fridge.

Emergency services raced to the scene after reports of a domestic blast on Rosslyn Avenue in the Ryhope area of the north east England city.

In an earlier post, she said that God must exist as "how the hell can anyone survive that explosion".

Ms Shepherd's daughter was with her father at the time of the blast, the sister said.

Northern Gas Network engineers are also at the scene.

Emergency crews raced to the scene at around 8.50am after the blast left debris strewn across the road.

"I went upstairs and you could see dust rising", she added.

A woman using the name Lauren x on Twitter said it sounded "like a bomb has exploded in ryhope; house literally shook".

Bill Forster, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "The walls of the building have collapsed and the upper sections of the building have come down and the lady was trapped beneath that rubble".

Northumbria police gave few details other than to say the explosion happened at a private address in Rosslyn Avenue on Friday morning.

"Just had call off me Mam she's in shock as she's in Roselea [sic] Avenue".

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