Drug factory alert over Leeds gas blast

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A man was still in hospital with burns last night after an explosion involving gas canisters police believe were being used for extracting cannabis resin ripped through a Leeds home.

Police today warned about dangers associated with cannabus production after the blast at the weekend which also left a teenager with slight burns.

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Detectives, fire service investigators, Health and Safety Experts and structural experts were only able enter the house in Aysgarth Place, Richmond Hill, yesteray to investigate the cause because of the severe damage caused to the building.

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Fire crews smelled domestic gas after the explosion and engineers closed off the main, but it was not clear whether that smell was due to damage caused when a build up of butane gas from the small cigarette light refuelling cartridges exploded.

The 36-year-old man was detained in the burns unit at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, with arm and face injuries after the explosion followed by a fire at the mid-terrace council property at 9pm on Saturday night.

A 15-year-old boy also in the house at the time suffered head injuries and burns. He was released from hospital after treatment.

His mother was also treated in hospital for severe shock after returning home to the devastation.

A search of the property found 20 more butane canisters in a shed behind the house.

Det Insp Paul Conroy said: "We are extremely fortunate there were no fatalities either in the house or the surrounding properties. The use of highly flammable material in a domestic property is extremely dangerous and has put people's lives in danger."

A 36-year-old has been arrested in connection with the incident.

The explosion was so large that it is thought to have blown off the patio doors at the house and extensively damaged the downstairs ceiling and first floor timber joists.

Flames from fire in the kitchen licked through the shattered window and blackened the brickwork above.

Fire crews were called shortly after the blast and wearing breathing apparatus extinguished the fire using hose reels after breaking windows. Inside the property they found a number of the gas canisters.

For much of Sunday a length of Aysgarth Place remained cordoned off by police as officers began investigations.

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