A child has died and four people have been injured, two seriously, after a suspected gas explosion in Heysham, Lancashire Police said.

A major incident has been declared after a gas explosion which reportedly destroyed up to three terraced houses in Heysham, Lancashire.

A statement from Lancashire Police said: “We remain at scene of a suspected gas explosion on Mallowdale Ave, Heysham, which has caused two houses to collapse and badly damaged another.

“Sadly, we can now confirm a young child has died and four other people have been injured, two seriously.

“Our thoughts are with all those affected.”

Lancashire Fire said on Twitter that 10 units were called to a row of homes on Mallowdale Avenue around 2.30am on Sunday and that firefighters were searching a collapsed property.

“A major incident has been declared after we (were) called to terraced houses on Mallowdale Avenue. It has been reported that there has been an explosion at a property and firefighters are searching the collapsed property,” Lancashire Fire said.

No information on any casualties was immediate available, but several residents of the area tweeted that up to three houses had collapsed, and that emergency services sirens had been heard near the scene for a prolonged time.

Lancashire Police said a safety cordon had been put in place and nearby residents had been evacuated in the town some 25 miles north-east of Blackpool.

“We are asking people to please avoid the entire area while we deal with this ongoing incident,” the force said.

The North West Ambulance Service tweeted that it had also sent units to the scene, with a priority to “ensure people receive the medical help they need as quickly as possible”.

The Service tweeted: “Following reports of an explosion on Mallowdale Avenue, #Heysham, we have resources at the scene and we are working with @LancashireFRS and @LancsPolice”.

Electricity North West tweeted that it had paused electricity supplies to the area for safety reasons while the blast was being investigated.