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‘Suspicious’ blast destroys house, kills child in England

 Damaged houses are seen  scene suspected gas explosiShaw areOldham EnglTuesday June 26 2012. Emergency services are scene 'very

Damaged houses are seen at the scene of a suspected gas explosion in the Shaw area of Oldham England Tuesday June 26, 2012. Emergency services are at the scene of the "very serious" incident, which is believed to involve a number of terrace properties in the Shaw area of Oldham. Local police said one child was killed in the explosion. (AP Photo/ Adam Pollard/PA) UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO SALES NO ARCHIVE

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LONDON (AP) — A suspected gas explosion reduced a house to smoking rubble, killed a 2-year-old boy and left a man seriously burned in northwest England on Tuesday, police and rescue workers said.

Police were not linking the explosion to terrorism, but said they were treating the child’s death as “suspicious.”

Superintendent Neil Evans said detectives were looking into reports of a domestic disturbance in the area the night before the explosion.

Fire service spokesman Dean Nankivell said firefighters were looking at a variety of possible causes for the blast, but “gas is definitely a strong contender.”

The National Grid utilities company said residents had complained of a smell of gas before the blast.

The explosion left a pile of rubble where the row house had stood in the town of Oldham, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northwest of London, and damaged two other houses beyond repair.

Greater Manchester Police said the injured man was taken to a nearby hospital with serious burns. He was in serious but stable condition Tuesday.

Firefighters searched the rubble amid fears more people could be trapped, but found no one.

The National Grid said five houses were damaged and 100 homes evacuated after the blast.



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