Huge explosion at ‘drug factory’ house leaves walls dangling off
A huge explosion ripped through a suspected drug factory causing scenes of destruction.
The blast on November 23 at 8.12pm in Birmingham, West Mids, left one of the two-storey house’s walls hanging off and sent debris flying as far as 40ft away.
Two men, one aged 27 and a second in his 30s, were taken to hospital with serious injuries and later arrested on suspicion of causing an explosion likely to endanger life.
Detectives are waiting for the men to recover to question them and believe the house – on a quiet residential street – may be linked to production of illegal drugs.
Neighbours said the terrifying noise was ‘like a bomb going off’ and shook their houses and blew out windows.
Tony Rice, 50, who lives opposite, said: “I heard this massive boom and when I went outside a front door frame had smashed my van window.
“I live over 40 metres away from the property so that just shows the force of the explosion.
“The front of the property is completely wide open, it has ripped the walls clean off.
“I think one of the blokes lived upstairs and the other downstairs. The man from downstairs had his skin ripped off. He was in a bad way.
“The upstairs tenant was walking around but was obviously in a lot of shock, which I think masked the pain he was in.
“The force of it shook the foundations of my home – it was an incredibly powerful explosion and the walls just shuddered.”
Both men are thought to have been in the house when the explosion happened and emergency gas crews were sent to the scene straight away.
Chief Inspector Sean Russell, from West Midlands Police, said: “We want to make it clear that there is no ongoing threat to people living in the local community.
“This was an isolated explosion and work is continuing to identify what caused it. One line of enquiry is that it may have been linked to the production of illegal drugs.
“I would like to thank everyone for their support and patience during the emergency response last night. The investigation will continue this morning and the road will stay closed while enquiries continue.”
A West Midlands Ambulance spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found two men who had reportedly been inside the property at the time of the explosion, both of whom had suffered serious burns injuries.
“The first patient, a man in his 30s, was treated for burns to his arm, head and back.
“The second patient, a man in his 20s, was treated for burns to his back, neck, hands and arms.
“Both patients were given pain relief on scene before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
“A third patient from a nearby property was assessed on scene but did not require hospital treatment.”