'Inspirational' woman, 61, killed in 'gas blast' while on video call named as as heartbroken pals pay tribute

TRIBUTES have today been paid to a woman killed in a suspected gas blast that destroyed her home while on a video call with friends.

Five other people, including a young child, were hurt in Wednesday night’s explosion.


Tributes have now flooded in for Hazel Wilcock, 61, who was found in the rubble.

She is understood to have worked as a counsellor for St Ann's Hospice.

Neighbour, June Winsche, told MEN: "She had lots of friends and loved entertaining and I'd always be invited over for meals.

"Hazel was just so kind. We went on retreats together and she took
time with me when I was going through a very bad time.

"She was a counsellor so had amazing listening skills and I am aware
she helped a lot more people.

"She was very inspirational and pushed me to start my own business
because she believed in me so much."




Close friend, Amanda Webber, wrote on Facebook: "A beautiful soul
inside and out.

"It was a pleasure to have known you and to have worked for you, may
you Rest in eternal peace and your smile shine down on us all.

"You shall be sadly missed by all who knew you.R.I.P Hazel xx."

While Andrea Procter wrote: "Hazel you were such an inspiration and fantastic friend.

"Devastating news. So sad."

DEVASTATING BLAST

Neighbours who raced to help the survivors in Summerseat, Gtr Manchester, said the blast was heard three streets away.

Kerry Crompton said: “It is so sad about the lady. I used to see her walking her dog.

“I’ve been told that, at the time, she was in the living room on a video call to her friends. That must have been ­horrific for those people.”

The mum of two, 36, told how she pulled her neighbour — named only as Stephanie — her daughter Evie and dog Besti from the wreckage of the home.

She said: “They were both absolute black. Stephanie was screaming. I just grabbed them and got them out. The little girl was hysterical.”

A friend of the pair said they were lucky to be alive.

Builder Paul Camprey, 41, said: “There was a massive boom and the doors and windows shook. The whole house had been destroyed.”

Thirty homes were evacuated, with some families allowed back yesterday.

Greater Manchester Police said a woman and child were taken to hospital with minor injuries and three others treated at the scene, Police, the fire service, the council and gas suppliers are investigating.










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