Croydon house explosion: Girl, 4, feared missing as rescuers search wreckage

One person is still missing after a house collapsed in a suspected gas explosion this morning.

Four people were rescued after six fire engines and around 40 firefighters raced to the terraced property in Thornton Heath, Croydon just after 7am today.

Three were taken to hospital and have potentially life-threatening injuries, it is understood.

Another person – whose age is unknown – is still missing, said London Fire Brigade in a statement at around midday.

A spokesperson said: “I can confirm we are still searching for one more person within the affected property.”

Residents earlier said that three children had been evacuated, and they feared a fourth was still trapped inside.

LFB said the cause of the fire and explosion is not known.

Dozens of worried neighbours gathered near a police cordon shortly after the explosion.

Several people, who had been evacuated in their pyjamas, said their windows were shattered early on Monday morning by the force of the explosion.

Two neighbours, Kutoya Kukanda, 50, and Delroy Simms, 62, said they helped rescue three children from the rubble at around 7am, but they believed a girl aged around four or five was still trapped inside.

They added they believed the children’s mother had been evacuated, and that the house next door had also been badly affected by the blast.

Many said they had reported a strong gas smell two weeks ago, and others said they had been feeling dizzy and sick over the last two days.

LFB said it had taken 14 calls to the incident since 7.08am.

Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations were sent to the scene.

A statement from the brigade said: “A terraced house has collapsed following an explosion and neighbouring properties have also been damaged. Three people have been rescued.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed officers are also at the scene.

A statement on Twitter said: “Officers are at the scene in Galpin’s Road as part of the emergency services response to this incident.”

London Ambulance Service said four people were treated at the scene and three were hospitalised.

A spokesperson said: “We have treated four people at an incident in Galpins Road, Thornton Heath.

“One was discharged on scene and three others were taken to hospital. We remain on scene with our emergency service colleagues.”