Pensioner escapes wrecked home
Monday 07 June 2004
An elderly woman had a lucky escape yesterday after an explosion razed her house to the ground, burying her under the rubble.
Elsie Howland, 86, was pulled relatively unscathed from the wreckage by neighbours in Faversham, Kent, after the blast at about 8am, thought to have been caused by gas.
Ms Howland's house and one next door collapsed and two others were damaged after the explosion tore through the row of eight terraced houses.
Ms Howland was taken to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital suffering minor burns and injuries from smoke inhalation.
Nat Victor, 34, landlord of the Anchor pub nearby, said Ms Howland could be heard calling for help under a collapsed ceiling. He said the pensioner, who was in her dressing gown, appeared to have fallen from the top floor of her home.
"There was a big bang. It woke me up. There was a big cloud of smoke and I saw a pile of rubble. Someone heard a noise, so we shut up and all listened and we heard her cries. We climbed over the rubble and I lifted the roof while two other men pulled her out," he said.
Ms Howland's nephew, Michael Tomlinson, 57, said: "I'm very grateful to those people who pulled my aunt from the rubble. She had a miraculous escape."
A plaque commemorating the home of George Trench, who invented the blasting explosive Tonite, stands only yards from where the blast occurred.
- 1 Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
- 2 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
- 4 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 5 New Tricks: Dennis Waterman to leave the show after a decade of crime-solving
Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
Kim Kardashian 'nude pictures' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence 'The Fappening' scandal
Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
Ice Bucket Challenge: US firefighter Tony Grider dies after participating in charity craze near power lines
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...