FOUR people have been arrested in connection with a gas explosion at a house which killed a toddler.
Little George Hinds died in the horror blast in Heysham, Lancs, on May 15 after a pipe was cut inside a home.
George's parents Vicky Studholme and Stephen Hinds were also injured and rushed to hospital but have since been discharged.
Officers identified the cause of the explosion as a cut gas pipe inside 20 Mallowdale Avenue.
Lancashire Police said a 44-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman, have now arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
Another man, 54 was also arrested on suspicion of theft, criminal damage and abstracting electricity, while a 47-year-old as was arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods.
They have both been released under investigation.
Detectives are also now hoping to speak to anyone who may have attended 20 Mallowdale Avenue in the days prior to the explosion.
“These arrests mark a significant point in our investigation, however our enquiries are still ongoing,” said Detective Chief Insp Jane Webb.
"I would appeal to anyone who has any information that they think could assist with our investigation to please get in touch with us, specifically anyone who may have attended 20 Mallowdale in the days prior to the explosion.”
The officer continued: “George’s parents have been devastated by his death and the community of Heysham have been significantly affected by the incident.
“I would like to thank the community for their help throughout this investigation as well as those that have already come forward with information.
“Our focus remains on getting justice for George’s family and loved ones, as well as those others affected by this incident.”
Firefighters, police and paramedics scrambled to Mallowdale Avenue at around 2.30am after residents were woken by the sound of a massive blast.
Two homes were completely collapsed as a result of the explosion, while another was seriously damaged.
Detectives, assisted by gas experts, carried out a fingertip search of the scene following the explosion to identify its source.
George's parents said in a statement released by cops after the tragedy: “We are devastated at the loss of our beautiful George.
“He was so precious to us. We have no words to describe how we feel and just want time to ourselves to come to terms with what has happened.
“Our beautiful little angel grew his wings today.”
Residents on the quiet street had been sound asleep when they were suddenly woken by the blast.
One neighbour compared it to an “earthquake” and another said the destruction was like the “aftermath of the Blitz”.
Some reported hearing the blast as far away as Lancaster - nine miles from the scene.
Around 80 firefighters and 10 fire engines attended as the road was closed and homes evacuated after a major incident was declared.
Neighbour Rachel Smith, 42, added: "It sounded like a bomb had gone off.
"I was woken by this huge bang. It was a big shock and it's devastating that a child has died."
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "I was woken by this huge bang.
"My bed shook - it was very scary. I looked out and it looked like utter devastation."
A fundrasing page set up to help Mallowdale Avenue residents had reached tens of thousands of pounds in just a few hours.
Lancashire Fire said on the day that 10 units were called to a row of homes in the area at around 2.30am and that firefighters were searching a collapsed property.
They later said in a statement: "Two fire engines, the urban search and rescue unit, search and rescue dogs and the air support unit remain at the incident.
"Search operations continue and we are working with partners to make the area safe and investigate the cause of the explosion."
Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 quoting log 0180 of May 16 or on the Major Incident Portal at mipp.police.uk/operation/0401020121W04-PO1