Three Hurt In Manchester Festival Blast

Three people are taken to hospital with burns after an explosion at a market stall during a food festival.

A 38-year-old man received burns to his hands, legs and face after a gas cylinder exploded in Albert Square in Manchester City Centre, a spokesman for North West Ambulance Service said.

Two other people were also taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary with less serious injuries to their arms and legs, she said.

The spokeswoman added that two of the victims were being transferred to the burns unit at Wythenshawe Hospital.

The incident happened at around 8.45pm yesterday during the annual Manchester Food and Drink Festival, which takes place across the city.

A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said crews arrived at the scene to find a market stall ``well alight''.

Firefighters from Manchester Central and Salford used breathing apparatus to tackle the blaze, which destroyed the stall.

The spokeswoman added: ``Three 20kg propane cylinders had become involved in the fire and these had to be isolated by fire service personnel to stop the incident from escalating.

``Three people received burns and were treated at the scene before being taken to Manchester Royal Infirmary.

``The police assisted by evacuating Albert Square, which at the time was being used for a food festival.

``Police have informed the Health and Safety Executive about the incident and fire scene investigators are now working with the police to try and establish the cause of the fire.''

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police added: ``A cordon was briefly set up on the advice of the fire service. But it was stood down once it was established there was no further risk.''