Published: 14:13, 04 May 2021
| Updated: 16:01, 04 May 2021
Pictures of people fleeing after an explosion ripped through a house show the dramatic aftermath of this morning's blast.
Residents in Mill View in Willesborough, Ashford, fled after the explosion that shook the street at about 8am.
People had to be pulled from the rubble, with seven casualties taken to hospital – two with serious injuries.
Many were still in their pyjamas as they watched the drama unfold in front of them.
Police, seven fire engines and a height vehicle, and medics rushed to the scene, where a number of people were reported to have been trapped.
Five people were taken to the William Harvey hospital in Ashford. The other two, who were more seriously injured, were taken to London hospitals. At least one of them was airlifted by the London Air Ambulance.
By 11.30am, police confirmed all residents had been accounted for.
The cause of the blast was yet to be known but police were not treating it as suspicious.
Those living in Mill View, as well as Osborne Road, Church Road, Willesborough Lees and by the windmill, felt their houses shake as the blast rocked the street.
A neighbour said: "The initial boom hit my bungalow with enough force to open my windows, it felt and sounded as if my bedroom had been driven into. I rushed straight out in my PJs with no shoes on to see the impact.
"At that point there was no fire just very light smoke, but glass, fiberglass, book pages and debris everywhere. I ran back into my property to grab my phone to dial 999 and coming back out to the scene the whole building and adjacent homes where engulfed in a huge blaze."
Kent County Council, in partnership with the Salvation Army, has set up a 'reception centre' to support those affected.