The parents of a two-year-old boy who died in a suspected gas explosion in Heysham, Lancashire, have paid tribute to their ‘angel’.
George Arthur Hinds, aged two years and 10 months, died in the blast, police have now confirmed.
His heartbroken parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured, although thankfully not seriously.
In a tribute, they said: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful George.
“He was so precious to us. We have no words to describe how we feel and just want time to ourselves to come to terms with what has happened.
“Our beautiful little angel grew his wings today.”
Two other people remain in hospital with injuries described as critical, according to Lancashire Police.
The emergency services, local authority and partners remain at the site and a safety cordon remains in place.
A number of residents have been evacuated and are being looked after by the local authority.
Gas service engineers are working to make the area safe.
People are being asked to avoid the area while we deal with this ongoing incident.
The blast destroyed three homes overnight, with officers evacuating nearby residents at around 2.40am.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “We remain at the scene of a suspected gas explosion on Mallowdale Avenue, Heysham. We were called at 2.40am this morning (Sunday May 16th) to reports that a number of houses on the road had collapsed.
“Our officers attended and found two houses collapsed and serious damage to a third property.
“We can now confirm that sadly a young child has died as a result of the incident.”
The North West Ambulance Service said paramedics treated five people at the scene.
A spokesman added that four people were rushed to hospital and that two are suffering from serious injuries.
They also confirmed that a young child had died in the incident.
One neighbour, who had to flee his home four doors down from the epicentre of the blast, told the Mirror: “It’s blown my windows, front door and roof.”
Resident Emilie Downie, 18, told the Sun: “The noise was incredible – like an earthquake. Steve next door was in the street in a state of shock. There was blood on his nose.
“His wife was trapped in a wardrobe and the house was only being held up by a beam.
“The firemen managed to get her out. It is terrible and so sad that the little boy has lost his life. It’s devastating.”
Another neighbour Rachel Smith, 42, said it ‘sounded like a bomb had gone off’.