'You'd think a bomb had gone off': Christchurch rocked by huge house explosion

Australian Associated Press

Several people have been injured after a house exploded in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Police said there had been a “serious” incident that left a house on fire after residents described hearing the explosion.

In a police statement initial reports suggested a number of people had been injured in the incident about 10.20am (local time) on Friday in the Christchurch residential suburb of Northwood.

This picture shows a pile of debris and flames coming from a home which exploded in Christchurch.
A number of people were injured when the home exploded in Christchurch. Source: Facebook/James Looyer

A house remained on fire and police had closed roads and were carrying out evacuations.

A Christchurch hotel worker, who was not identified, told the New Zealand Herald that a sound like an explosion had shaken nearby buildings.

"It was more than an earthquake, you'd think a bomb had gone off," the newspaper quoted the worker as saying.

Police did not identify the cause of the incident but suspect it was a gas explosion.

James Looyer, who witnessed the incident, told Stuff.co.nz he was working close by when he heard the explosion.

“It felt like an earthquake, we pretty much went outside the house we were working in, went down the street and this big smoke cloud was sitting over this house at the back,” he said.

This picture shows a house in Christchurch blown apart after an explosion.
Several have been injured in the house explosion. Source: Facebook/James Looyer

The incident comes four months after a lone gunman killed 51 people and wounded dozens in attacks on two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand's worst peacetime mass shooting.

Christchurch also suffered a massive earthquake in 2011 which killed 185.

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