A man has died in a gas explosion which destroyed part of a house.

A “massive bang” was reported in Brownley Road, Wythenshawe, Manchester shortly after 18:30 BST on Thursday.

Plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the property, and nearby homes were evacuated while firefighters made the scene safe.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said investigations were ongoing into the circumstances that had led to the explosion.

It is understood that the victim was an elderly man who lived at the property.

GMP added that several properties were without power and road closures were in place while emergency services remained at the scene.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said it was “saddened that someone has lost their life”.

Matt Muncaster, who lives nearby, said he was getting off a Metrolink tram at Crossacres when he heard the blast.

The windows were blown out, he said, followed by a “huge amount of smoke” billowing out of the house.

The 27-year-old said he “instinctively” ran over to the property alongside another man, and both attempted to kick down the front in case anyone was inside.

When they were unable to get inside they ran to the nearby Wythenshawe fire station to raise the alarm, he said.

As they approached an engine was on its way to the scene, he said.

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