AN investigation has been launched after an elderly couple were found dead in their home.
The couple, believed to be in their 70s and named locally as Thomas and Audrey Graham, were found collapsed at their house in Paton Avenue, Great Lever, at 8.30am this morning.
A man in his 40s, believed to be their son, Colin, is also in hospital after the incident, which is now being investigated by the police.
Neither the couple, nor the younger man, had suffered any visible injuries, police said, and detectives are investigating the possibility that their death was caused by a gas leak.
Detectives do not believe anyone else was involved in the incident.
A post mortem examination was inconclusive and toxicology reports will now be carried out.
A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said officers were called to the address after receiving reports of a possible gas leak or the presence of carbon monoxide in the house.
Police said they were alerted to the incident by the ambulance service.
The fire service also attended to help deal with the potential danger of a gas leak.
A fire service spokesman said they had checked the premises for carbon monoxide and isolated the gas supply because gas was coming from an unignited fire.
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National Grid were also called to the house at 11.40am after being alerted by the emergency services to check for carbon monoxide and were on the scene until 3pm.
A spokesman said: “There was a potential of carbon monoxide poisoning and we carried out safety checks and cut off the supply and made it safe.
“There were no visible signs of a carbon monoxide leak.
“We carried out checks to properties on either side of the property to ensure they were safe. The incident is now being investigated by police.”
She added they had no history of being called to the property before.
Neighbours expressed shock and sadness at the tragedy.
Barbara Bradley, aged 73, said: “They had lived here a long time, at least 40 years, and they were a nice couple. I used to see the husband walking his dog and we would say hello.
“They had two dogs and a cat.
“It has come as a shock. It is just dreadful what has happened. We saw the emergency services and the National Grid were here all day.”
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “I saw the police and the fire and the forensics teams.
“The couple kept themselves to themselves, but were nice. It is a shock.
“We don’t know what has happened but heard it is something to do with the fire or the chimney.
"I think the people could have been there for a few days because I hadn’t heard the dog bark for a few days and I always hear him bark.”