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Source: New Zealand Police

UPDATE: Explosion in Marble Ct, Northwood, Christchurch.

Emergency Services are working to ensure residents evacuated from their Northwood homes after the unexplained gas explosion today can return home as soon as possible.

“Safety experts have been going from house to house within the outer cordoned area to ensure these homes are safe for people to return to,” says Canterbury Metro Commander Superintendent Lane Todd.

“We appreciate this has been a difficult day for the approximately 50 residents who had to leave under such traumatic circumstances.”

It’s expected that many of the homes in the outer cordon will be released to their residents later tonight.

Cordons and security will remain in place overnight around approximately 12 homes that are in the immediate vicinity of the initial explosion.

“We are working with these people to ensure they have what they require from their homes and have somewhere to stay.”

Five people continue to receive medical treatment at Christchurch Hospital tonight.

Police will continue to work with Fire and Emergency New Zealand and WorkSafe investigators to determine the cause.