ST ANN'S HOSPICE have paid tribute to a senior counsellor who died during a house collapse in Ramsbottom.

Emergency services were called to East View, Summerseat on Wednesday at 9.20pm to reports of an explosion.

Response teams discovered the body of Hazel Wilcock, 61, inside the wreckage of the mid-terrace property.

Hazel worked as a senior counsellor for St Ann's Hospice.

Chief executive Rachel McMillan said: "Everyone at the hospice is extremely shocked and saddened by the tragic news of Hazel's death, and our thoughts are with her family and loved ones.

"Hazel had been part of the St Ann's team for four years as a senior counsellor in our Patient and Family Support Team, working hard to support the people we care for and those closest to them.

"She was a much-loved member of the hospice family, always compassionate, and always focussed on ensuring the very best care for our patients.

"She had recently been working on a project to further develop our psychological support services to reach even more people during the pandemic, especially helping to support people experiencing grief in these exceptional times - it was extremely important to her that she was still able to help despite all of the restrictions that Covid-19 has brought, and our patients and those closest to them were always at the heart of everything she did.

"She cared for so many local people, and she will be hugely missed by all of us."

Three people were treated at the scene by paramedics while a woman and child were taken to hospital with minor injuries, but they were later discharged.

Nearby residents were evacuated, with many being able to return home by Thursday afternoon.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion was launched by Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, Bury Council and Cadent Gas.