Passers-by had a lucky escape when a former nightclub by the River Tyne exploded leaving a heap of rubble across the busy street.
Bizz Bar, once a popular South Shields nightspot, collapsed with a 'massive bang' this evening, sending a cloud of smoke into the air.
A 20ft section of the two-storey building's frontage and roof tumbled into the road, leaving onlookers reeling in shock.
Crumbling facade: Workers heading home for the weekend reported hearing creaking sounds before the explosion
Mystery: Emergency services were quickly called to the scene after the alarming explosion
Onlookers were left reeling after the dramatic collapse in the busy area
Adam Baker, 21, said he was passing the building when he heard an explosion and turned to see the building in ruins.
'I heard a massive bang - you can often hear bangs near there but this was different.
'I just saw a huge plume of smoke over a heap of rubble and dust.
'There were quite a few people walking right past it - I was about 50 metres away - everyone just looked gobsmacked. I'm still a bit in shock to be honest.
Workers heading home for the weekend reported hearing creaking sounds before the explosion at 5.30pm this evening. Police and at least two fire engines rushed to the scene.
The bar has been closed for around two years but had been undergoing renovation works when the explosion happened.
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