A heroic first responder has described how he helped pull injured people "from under the rubble" after a horror explosion in Scotland.
The major blast damaged four homes in Kincaidston Drive, in Gorse Park, Ayr, resulting in two adults and two children being rushed to hospital on Monday evening.
Neighbours described the noise as like a bomb going off and it is understood it could be heard three miles away.
Chris McNicol lives on nearby Thistle Walk and quickly made his way to the scene at around 7.10pm, reports the Daily Record.
The 40-year-old immediately saw a stricken child in a garden and a man's arm reaching out from under the debris.
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He could also hear a woman screaming but was struggling to see clearly through the dust.
"It was like no noise I've ever heard before in my life," said Chris, admitting he thought a car had exploded as he dashed to his back door.
"Then I heard a neighbour frantically shouting, ‘I’m going, I’m going’ and that’s when I knew it was serious."
Chris put his trainers on and said the "adrenaline kicked in" as he ran outside.
“I just couldn’t believe it when I saw what had happened," he continued.
He said others, including a woman who he believes was a nurse, was already there helping people, and he could see a hand sticking up from the rubble.
Another man was already searching the debris and told everyone to be quiet so he could hear if people were making noise.
"We heard someone calling out for help, they were maybe two or three meters away but you couldn’t see them. I think it was a female voice," Chris explained.
Then he and other first responders helped a young boy who had injured his leg in a garden and was "crying with fear".
"He was just sitting there in the middle of the garden, just in shock. How he didn’t have more cuts and bruises I’ll never understand," Chris said.
The boy's foot was stuck in the debris and Chris helped to free him.
He went on to describe how smoke and dust were "pummelling out" of the front of the building but there was no fire visible as the fire brigade arrived.
"You could see the smoke but couldn’t see the flames. I was only there for five, ten minutes then we were told we had to move in case there was another explosion," he said.
Chris said there were plenty of people willing to help but the fire service are responsible for much of the heroics.
"You see [these] things on the news and you never think it will happen to you," he added.
After his heroics, Chris rushed off to work a 10pm-6am shift at McDonald's in Ayr, which he said helped to keep his mind off it.
This morning he went out to help clean up the rubble in an attempt to tire himself out so he could get some sleep.
Police Scotland confirmed the four patients were taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.
The force went on to say multiple premises were evacuated and two local rest centres were set up to accommodate people.
And added enquiries are continuing to establish the cause of the explosion.
A spokesperson for gas company SGN said its engineers are working with the emergency services to "ensure the immediate vicinity is made safe", while helping to determine what had happened.
Scottish Ambulance Service said a number of resources were dispatched, including an air ambulance.Read More Read More