U.K. Gas Blast Tears Through 4 Homes, Injures 11

LONDON -- A gas explosion tore through four homes in the Manchester area of northern England, turning a row of terraced houses into a pile of debris and injuring 11 people.

The massive blast in Salford, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of London, hit just before 7:15 a.m. (0715GMT) and caused "absolute chaos," fire liaison officer Paul Etches said.

Four children and seven adults, including a woman in her 70s, were treated for their injuries. Scores of police, paramedics and firefighters spent hours scouring the rubble for residents feared to be trapped beneath the wreckage.

Etches said it appeared no one else had been reported missing -- although he cautioned the situation was still fluid.

"Search and rescue haven't found people buried but that is the process we are going through and can't say it is clear," he said.

Investigators are trying establish the cause of the blast.