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Six people injured, one house destroyed and many more damaged in massive Christchurch gas explosion

A house has been destroyed in a massive gas explosion in Christchurch.

Police say a house is on fire on Marble Court. Six people were injured in the explosion. 

They have since been transported to hospital, with their conditions ranging from serious to moderate, Fire and Emergency New Zealand area commander for Christchurch metro, Dave Stackhouse, told 1 NEWS.  

One house is destroyed, five are "severely affected" and 17 others impacted by debris.

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Witness Ann Gray spoke to 1 NEWS about the Marble Court incident. Source: 1 NEWS

"We've evacuated all the residents of this area from Brookwater cul-de-sac back through to Marblewood Lane back to the Styx Mill Country Club where they're being looked after."

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Police say five people are injured after the incident in Northwood.

The scene is swarming with police, St John Ambulance and fire trucks.

Witness at the scene Ann Gray told 1 NEWS her house shook and she originally thought the explosion was an earthquake, she would have guessed about 7.5 magnitude.

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But then saw debris, including wood, billow into the air.

"It was massive ... bits of wood and everything," she said. "It was like the whole house had exploded.

Some of the homes which were extensively damaged in a Christchurch house explosion. Source: 1 NEWS

"Then I came outside and you could see the fire, the flames and the black smoke."

Homes damaged in a Christchurch gas explosion. Source: 1 NEWS

A woman who lives in the area told 1 NEWS she thought a plane had blown up when she heard the bang.

"Gees, it was awful," she said. "Our whole back door had blown open and I saw these pieces of material flying through the air.

"It was incredible, very scary though because I was actually cooking on gas at the time and I thought "that has to be a gas explosion"," she said. "I feel very sorry for the people inside."

Debris following massive Christchurch explosion
Debris following massive Christchurch explosion Source: 1 NEWS

Brad and Megan Culver who live directly behind the house that exploded, were at home when it happened.

Their own house has significant damage.

"Everything in our house just sort of exploded, glass, everything," Megan said. 

Brad added that the lights came down and the roof lifted up. "I thought that a plane had crashed and exploded behind our house."

"Once I knew Megan was okay I ran out to assess what was going on and saw the smoke coming up behind us," Brad said. "The house [which exploded] was in a complete pile of timber, and rubbish. You couldn't even conceive that it was a house, there was nothing left standing."

Brad said they started pulling people out of the ruins - five people, he'd been told. "We got all five of them out before the emergency services came."

He said they were in shock, but only had superficial injuries. "Cuts, bruises, that sort of thing. It didn't look like any life threatening injuries."

However, their injuries are yet to be confirmed.

The couple moved to New Zealand from the US eight years ago, but had only lived in their house for six months.

A map showing the location of Marble Court in Northwood, Christchurch, where a house exploded.
A map showing the location of Marble Court in Northwood, Christchurch, where a house exploded. Source: Google Maps/1 NEWS Graphic

A witness who lives in Northwood told 1 NEWS she heard a "sonic boom" that caused the doors in her house to blow open.

She described seeing plumes of smoke billowing from the scene, which is understood to be near BestStart Styx Mill Childcare Facility.

People have reported hearing the explosion in Rolleston, 30km away.  

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