Summerseat house blast: Compassionate counsellor named as victim

Summerseat house blast: Compassionate counsellor named as victim

A hospice counsellor who died when an explosion caused a house to collapse was “always compassionate and always focused”, the charity has said.

Hazel Wilcock, 61, was found dead by police after the blast in Summerseat, Bury, on Wednesday.

Her death had left her colleagues at Stockport’s St Ann’s Hospice “extremely shocked and saddened”, chief executive Rachel McMillan said.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is continuing.

Ms McMillan said Ms Wilcock was a “much-loved member of the hospice family”, who had worked for the Cheadle-based charity for the past four years and had been “always compassionate and always focused 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,” she said.

“It was extremely important to her that she was still able to help despite all of the restrictions… 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.”

Following the blast, a woman and child were taken to hospital with minor injuries and have since been discharged. Three other people were treated at the scene by paramedics.

About 30 neighbouring houses on East View were evacuated as a precaution but many residents have since returned to their homes.

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