Neighbours’ horror as mum and kids run from home screaming after explosion as they slept – a man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder

Neighbours have described the moment a mother and her two children ran screaming from their home after an explosion ripped through the house as they slept.

They trio were asleep upstairs when the blast – caused by a butane gas cylinder – ripped through the downstairs of their Wythenshawe home shortly after midnight on Wednesday (December 30), blowing out the front and back windows.

The explosion woke neighbours, who ran over to the property to help before witnessing the siblings – a girl and a boy – screaming hysterically as they ran out of the front door in their pyjamas, followed moments later by their mother.

The mother, 32, and her daughter, 11, were taken to hospital to be treated for shock.

A number of residents were evacuated while the emergency services made the area safe.

The front and rear windows were blown away
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

A man, 43, was later arrested on suspicion of attempted murder; and arson with intent to endanger life following the early hours incident.

He was being questioned by detectives on Wednesday evening.

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The property on Pewsey Road in the Crossacres area of Wythenshawe suffered extensive damage in the explosion, which ripped through the property shortly before 12.20am.

One resident, who declined to be named, said: “It was loud.

“At first I thought it was a car crash. Some of the neighbours ran across to see what it was about.

“They were banging on the door and a few seconds later it opened and two kids came running out. A minute later the woman came running out. They were just hysterical and running away.”

Another neighbour, Brian Smith, 72, said: “It’s beyond comprehension that someone can just try to take lives like that especially during the festive season.

“Those kids have just had their Christmas presents. It’s heartbreaking.”

A man has been arrested
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

A fire service spokesman said five people were checked at the scene by paramedics.

Det Insp Christopher Potter of GMP’s City of Manchester division said: “This was a nasty explosion that has caused some significant damage to a property and it’s lucky that no one sustained any serious injuries.

“Whilst no one was badly hurt, this has left those who were inside the property at the time understandably shaken and upset.

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“We understand that events such as this can cause significant worry and concern for the local community but we want to reassure you that we believe this to have been an isolated incident and there is no wider threat posed to the public.

The blast destroyed the downstairs of the home
(Image: Manchester Evening News)

“We currently have one man in custody for questioning and our investigation is very much underway as we try to ascertain all the facts surrounding the incident. We would urge anyone with information that could assist us with our enquiries to speak with police.”

A Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said: “At 12.34am on December 30, three fire engines from Cheadle and Wythenshawe, and one technical response unit with support appliance from Ashton under Lyne, attended an incident in a domestic property on Pewsey Road, Wythenshawe.

“It is believed that there was an explosion caused by butane gas cylinder.

“There was no fire, but firefighters used shoring up equipment, lighting equipment, a thermal imaging camera and gas detectors to make the property safe.

“Five casualties were given a precautionary check by ambulance paramedics. Crews were in attendance for approximately two hours.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 0161 856 6063 quoting incident number 27 of 30/12/20. Alternatively, details can be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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