**UPDATE** Oldham Council have issued a helpline number 0161 770 7770, for urgent advice only.
Shortly after 11.15am today, Tuesday 26 June 2012, emergency services were called to Shaw following a report that homes had been seriously damaged in a large explosion.
Police, fire and ambulance services are at the scene and a cordon has been put in place.
A rest centre is being set up at Crompton House school, Rochdale Road, for people affected by the explosion in Shaw this morning. Local residents evacuated due to this incident can proceed to the school site where refreshments and assistance will be available.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area to enable emergency rescue work to continue.
Updates can be found on BBC Radio Manchester and at:
Manchester Fire and Rescue http://www.manchesterfire.gov.uk/updates/incidents.aspx
Oldham Council http://www.oldham.gov.uk/
Greater Manchester Police http://www.gmp.police.uk/mainsite/pages/news.htm