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London house explosion kills 1 child, injures 4 others

London Fire Brigade firefighters respond to a house explosion and fire in south London on Monday. Photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade
London Fire Brigade firefighters respond to a house explosion and fire in south London on Monday. Photo courtesy of London Fire Brigade

Aug. 8 (UPI) -- A house explosion in south London Monday morning left one child dead while four others had to be rescued from the collapsed structure, officials said.

Six fire engines and about 40 firefighters responded to the Croydon section of London when the explosion happened after dawn. Three of four who were rescued were admitted to a local hospital while the fourth person was discharged.

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The London Fire Brigade said the terraced house collapsed and neighboring properties were also damaged. The cause of the explosion and fire remains under investigation.

"Firefighters carried out a search of the property and sadly, a child was pronounced dead at the scene," the brigade's Deputy Assistant Commissioner Richard Welch said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with their family, friends and the local community at this time.

"The welfare of our staff involved in this incident is very important to us and all of them will be offered counseling as a priority."

The brigade said emergency personnel evacuated about 40 properties as a precaution within a 165-foot radius.

Fire crews from Norbury, Mitcham, West Norwood, Woodside and surrounding fire stations assisted the scene.

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