Two people were seriously injured and 31 others hurt when several buildings collapsed in a suspected gas explosion on Merseyside. Houses shook and windows shattered in the blast – described as being like an earthquake – leaving bricks and debris strewn on roads in Bebington, Wirral. A number of houses in the area were evacuated and more than 100 people were moved overnight to a nearby church. A dance studio for children, which was unoccupied at the time, was destroyed. Merseyside Police said the two most seriously injured casualties are being treated at Aintree hospital and the Walton neurological centre in Liverpool. A spokeswoman said 18 of the casualties were taken to hospital and a further 15 went to local hospitals themselves to get treatment. Dan Stephens, chief officer at Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said the scale of damage in Boundary Road was considerable. “It’s what we would describe as a total collapse, or the explosion has blown the walls out, which has caused the roof to collapse,” he said. “It’s a very significant debris field and [there is] lots of structural damage to the surrounding buildings.” Emergency services were called to a “major incident” at about 21:15 GMT on Saturday.