Two pensioners hospitalised after suspected gas leak explosion demolishes house

Robin Cunningham, 77, was flown by air ambulance to Hospital in Glasgow, his wife 74-year-old wife Marion is being treated for minor burns

Two pensioners have been taken to hospital after a suspected gas leak blast demolished their home

Robin Cunningham, 77, was flown by air ambulance to the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow. His wife 74-year-old wife Marion is being treated for minor burns.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the explosion on Murdiston Avenue in Callander, Stirling, just before 6am this morning.

Following the blast nine houses in the area were evacuated. Stirling Council has set up a rest centre in the town.

Chief Inspector Russell Penman said: "The house has been totally demolished as a result of the explosion.

"We are treating this as a suspected gas leak and inquiries are at a very early stage to establish the cause. Scotland Gas Networks are in attendance and working with us."

Eric Brown, proprietor of the nearby Roman Camp Hotel, said: "I heard a loud bang at around 5.45am this morning.

"The hotel is set quite far back from the road so it wasn't particularly loud from where we are, but it was enough to wake me up.

"I understand that a lot of houses have been evacuated."

Neighbour Alistair Allan, who lives across the road, told STV News: "We were all woken up at 6.30am by this almighty bang. I looked out the window and the house across the road was on fire. I ran across and the elderly gentleman was under rubble, I think in the kitchen, and his wife was in another part of the house.

"I could hear her calling out for help. She was saying 'I can't take it any more'.

"The firefighters were there very quickly. They got the woman out through a window and I think the man was out after about 15 or 20 minutes.

"My daughter came in last night about 8.30pm and said there was a strong smell of gas in the street but we didn't think anything of it at the time."

Claire Luti, a partner in nearby Dreadnought Garage, said: "I live at the other end of town so I didn't hear the explosion, but I heard the helicopter that was sent to take them (the man) to hospital. They are an elderly couple in their 70s who are quite well known in the town."

Mr Allan, 47, said his 16-year-old daughter Nicola told him the house across the street exploded.

He was one of the first people on the scene, answering calls for help from inside the collapsed house.

"We were in bed at 5.30am this morning and were woken with this horrendous bang. My daughter shouted across to me that the house across the road had been demolished and was on fire.

"I called the emergency services and went across to see if they were OK and thankfully they are alive but I don't know the condition of them."

On describing the scene, he said: "I totally couldn't believe it, to be honest. It's a gas explosion, I take it, so there is no wonder there is the devastation that there is here.

"The two occupants were shouting for help -'Get me out' and 'I can't take this any longer, get me out, get me out' - but there was no doubt we had to leave it to the fire services to get them out."

He said firefighters arrived at the scene after about five minutes.

Mr Allan's house is cordoned off and he was told he cannot get back inside until safety checks have been done.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Sport
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
News
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
News
Robyn Lawley
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
people
News
people
News
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
News
scienceScientists try to explain the moon's funny shape
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
As Loki in The Avengers (2012)
filmRead Tom Hiddleston's email to Joss Whedon on prospect of playing Loki
Voices
voices In defence of the charcoal-furred feline, by Felicity Morse
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

£200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

Education Recruitment Consultant- Learning Support

£18000 - £30000 per annum + Generous commission scheme: AER Teachers: Thames T...

Supply Teachers Needed in Thetford

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Supply teachers neede...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star