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Man airlifted to hospital and homes evacuated after explosion

The fire service said residents living nearby were being asked to keep their doors and windows closed

A man has been airlifted to hospital and homes have been evacuated following an explosion in a Derbyshire town.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service said it was called to Ollersett Avenue in New Mills at 08:07 GMT on Tuesday.

It said 12 properties in the area had been evacuated and other residents living nearby were being asked to keep their doors and windows closed.

High Peak Borough Council said a rest centre had been set up for residents at New Mills Leisure Centre.

Police, the ambulance service and the air ambulance were also called to the scene, along with staff from gas distribution company Cadent.

The fire service said the exact cause of the blast was still being investigated.

The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance said the man flown to hospital had suffered burns.

The man was taken to Sheffield's Northern General Hospital

Crews from New Mills, Glossop, Whaley Bridge, and Buxton's command support unit are at the scene.

Derbyshire Police and the borough council have urged people to avoid the area.

Natalie Bennett, who is a carer, said she and her colleague had just finished a call on Tuesday morning when they heard "a massive explosion".

She said: "We saw the bungalow's front window had completely burst out, the roof had caved in.

"A bunch of people were trying to get the man out. There must have been about 10 blokes lifting this guy into the garden."

The 34-year-old added: "Then, the back of the house started setting on fire. So we saw a curtain on the floor and we managed to get him on this curtain and we all lifted him and got him on to the other side of the road.

"Then all the help turned up - it was quite scary."

A resident, who did not wish to be named, said she heard and felt the explosion from across the road.

She told the BBC her three-year-old son was with her at home and they had been evacuated.

The woman said the man was taken out of the property before the fire started, and she saw the emergency services putting the fire out.

East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said it was called to the scene at 08:10.

A spokeswoman said: "The caller reported a medical emergency. We sent a paramedic in an ambulance car, two crewed ambulances and the air ambulance was also in attendance.

"One patient was transported to Northern General Hospital via air ambulance."

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