A mother-of-two has said she has been left “terrified” after walking past a restaurant seconds before a gas explosion.

The blast destroyed the shopfront and sent shards of glass flying across the pavement.

Ewelina Dunkley, 40, said she narrowly missed getting caught in the blast when she passed The Bilash Indian takeaway in Southend Road in Grays yesterday (February 5).

Police and fire crews from Grays and Orsett attended the scene after being called to reports of the explosion shortly before 2.25pm.

READ MORE: Windows and vehicles damaged after gas explosion in commercial premises

Ms Dunkley told the PA news agency she saw a “massive flame of fire” inside the takeaway before the glass shopfront was shattered.

She said: “It was traumatising.

“The glass was on the opposite side of the road, that’s how forceful it was.

“I think the glass would damage your skin… If it flew to the other side of the road, imagine someone standing five yards away.

“I don’t even want to think about what would have happened if someone had been there.”

READ MORE: Man in life-threatening condition after serious crash involving car and pedestrian

The events manager said she had been taking her dog to the vet next to the takeaway shop and had considered bringing her son with her.

“If he would have come and walked behind me that would have been him there, injured or God knows what, dead maybe,” she added.

“I was shaking and I banged the door to the vet saying ‘please just let me in’. I’m still shaken.”

Ms Dunkley said the explosion lasted just a few seconds before the scene went quiet again, with shop owners and residents gathering shortly after to take pictures of the wreckage.

The news agency was unable to contact the restaurant, but Ms Dunkley said it appeared to be closed at the time of the explosion.

Essex Police said there were not thought to be any injuries or structural damage.

Southend Road was shut for several hours in both directions, reopening at 8pm last night.

Firefighters requested the attendance of the gas company and worked with police at the scene.

An investigation into the cause is being carried out.