Thundersnow lightning hits house as terrifying explosion sounded like bomb

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Five fire crews are at the scene of serious incident in Greater Manchester following suggestions online that a house was hit by lightning.

A cordon has been put in place around at least two houses on Store Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, a market town in Tameside, Greater Manchester.

Firefighters appear to be focusing on a house near the junction with Picton Street which has a severely damaged roof. People at the scene have also said that "the street's electricity is out."

The nature of the incident has not yet been confirmed but people writing on social media, claiming to live in the area, touted a series of strange weather phenomena as the reason for the property damage.

One woman, writing on Facebook, said the sound of the "explosion" woke her up, adding: "I thought it was a bomb or something, it was so loud."

Another person said that when they heard it, they thought the noise came from "a crash outside."

Writing on Twitter, another local wrote: "Think we just had a thundersnow thunderstorm phenomenon here in Ashton-under-Lyne, England. Large bang woke me from my sleep, rain and snow!"

Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thundersnowstorm, is an unusual kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation, instead of rain.

Another woman, writing on Facebook, said the 'explosion' shook her house.

"I was asleep and got woken up from the bang. My house shook," she said.

Another person wrote: "I was in the shower & absolutely crapped myself! It was so loud."

Pictures from the scene show workers on a cherry picker inspecting the damage to the roof of a property. Slates can be seen completely wrecked, with an approximately 10-foot hole in the roof.

Happy Hedgehogs Preschool, on Store Street, has had to close today due to the incident.

A staff member at the school said its fire alarm has been affected, and the road is blocked, so the school will remain shut on Friday.

One business owner said the street's electricity is out and fire crews had been at the scene 'for a number of hours'.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service have been contacted for more details.

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