Family hurt as home explodes

A massive explosion in which a mother and son were critically injured and their home wrecked was being investigated last night by gas safety experts.

Neighbours and firefighters formed a human chain to move rubble trapping Maria Breen and her five-year-old son, Ieuan. Another son Colin, seven, was taken to hospital and a man believed to be Ms Breen's boyfriend also had minor injuries.

The 8am blast in New Tredegar, Gwent, south Wales, severely damaged two neighbouring properties and shattered shop and house windows up to 80 yards away.

Nick Warr, regional spokesman for British Gas, said: "At this stage we do not know if the cold weather was a factor."