A young child has died and four people have been injured in a suspected gas explosion in Heysham.

Emergency services were called around 2.40am this morning (May 16) to reports that a number of houses on Mallowdale Avenue, Heysham, had collapsed following an explosion.

Two properties have collapsed and a third home has suffered serious damage. 

A spokesperson for the police said: "Our officers attended and found two houses collapsed and serious damage to a third property.

"We can now confirm that sadly a young child has died as a result of the incident.

"The family have been informed and our thoughts remain with them at this distressing time.

"Another four people, two men and two women have been taken to hospital with serious injuries."

A search of the site is still ongoing with the fire and ambulance service also in attendance.

A safety cordon has been put in place and nearby residents have been evacuated.

Road closures remain in place and people are being asked to avoid the entire area while police deal with the incident.