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'Pretty much just raw flesh' – Man who rushed to rescue people from Christchurch gas explosion describes gruesome scene

A man who rushed to rescue people from a house that was reduced to rubble in a Christchurch gas explosion today described the "chaotic" scenes he encountered.

Jacob Braithwaite was working one street over when the blast took place in Marble Court this morning.

"Sitting at lunchtime having a ciggie and just heard this huge bang, looked down the road and saw roof and debris in the air, so we all hopped in the van and went straight down to the house," he told 1 NEWS.

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The home was turned into a pile of matchsticks, sending debris flying onto nearby properties. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Braithwaite and his co-workers lept into action, helping those caught up in the horrific explosion.

"I saw there were people hurt so jumped the fence and started helping people, pulling them out of the house and it was pretty chaotic really," he recalled. 

He described the terrible injuries suffered by those he helped rescue.

"All the skin of their hands and their feet and legs was pretty much just raw flesh. They couldn't really hear us because the explosion was so loud.

"I hope they're all good because it was pretty full on."

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Six people were seriously injured and one house totally destroyed in this morning’s terrifying explosion. Source: 1 NEWS

St John says six people have been taken to Christchurch Hospital with injuries ranging from serious to critical.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand says one house is destroyed, five are "severely affected" and 17 others impacted by debris.
 

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Jacob Braithwaite pulled people from the house moments after the blast. Source: 1 NEWS