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Explosion rips through a house in Northwood Christchurch leaving five people injured

A massive explosion has ripped through a house in Christchurch, leaving six people injured.

The force of the blast at 10.20am on Friday sent roof tiles raining down on neighbouring houses in the suburb of Northwood, and blew bricks off a home next door. 

Those injured have all been rushed to hospital, with their injuries ranging from serious to critical, and six homes in total have been significantly damaged. 

Nearby homes containing about 50 residents were evacuated as authorities worked to establish the cause of the explosion.  

Shocking footage from the scene shows the house has been reduced to rubble, with the snapped timber beams of the home burning while roof tiles, guttering and insulation are seen scattered up to 100m in every direction.

Locals helped the occupants of the home get to safety before reaching for a nearby hose as they waited for emergency services to arrive. 

Five people were injured (pictured) in a gas explosion at a home in Christchurch, which reduced the house to  matchsticks. The home blew out, scattering roof tiles and insulation up to 100m away 

People thought to have been inside the home are seen shortly after they were evacuated being treated by paramedics, with blankets placed over them.  

James Looyer, who filmed the extensive damage, said he had helped evacuate people aged between 50 and 70 from the rubble. 

None could hear him, all had bloodshot eyes, and some were missing patches of skin, he said.  

Fenz area commander Dave Stackhouse told Stuff a gas explosion was to blame, and residents up to 20 kilometres away say they felt the blast.  

Power has been turned off in the area as emergency services work to contain the situation. 

 Residents told the New Zealand Herald the blast had blown the doors of their own homes open, while one likened it to a 'sonic boom'. 

Tom White told the paper the house was 'matchsticks', and had been 'totally blown apart'.  

'It's caused a lot of destruction to other houses,' he said. 'It's blown the garage door right of the next-door neighbour's house.'

More to come 

The rubble was seen burning as emergency services swarmed the street and neighbours were evacuated 

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