A FRIEND of a woman seriously burned in a shop explosion says everyone who knows her is "praying God will make her healthy".
Helen Desalegn was hurt when the blast blew the front off the Simba grocery shop in Alfreton Road on Thursday.
She suffered 30 per cent burns and was taken to the Queen's Medical Centre.
She was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, for specialist treatment. Last night, her condition was described as "serious but stable" by a hospital spokeswoman.
Ms Desalegn's friend Hana Gibramedhen said people who knew the young African woman hoped she would pull through.
Ms Gibramedhen, of Portland Road, said: "It's so sad. We are all praying for her.
"We are all hoping God will make her healthy and get her back to normal.'' The force of the blast at about 11.40am blew the shop front 35 feet across Alfreton Road.
Ms Desalegn ran into the road with her clothes alight and people rushed to help.
An investigation into the explosion is under way but it is thought a gas cylinder was involved.
Four fire crews were called to the scene. Yesterday, the shop had wooden boards nailed across its front windows.
Ms Desalegn, who is in her 20s, is believed to be from Eritrea, East Africa, and moved to the UK around a year ago.
Ms Gibramedhen, 28, said her friend had been taking English lessons and was a Christian who regularly went to church. Shopkeepers said Simba had been run as a community centre for people from Eritrea.
One business owner, whose shop is near the scene, said: "She is a young girl. I'm still getting what happened through my system, it's not easy."
The owner, who asked not to be named, added: " I'd seen her going in to the shop as she normally does in the mornings. Normally, she leaves the door open but that morning I did see she had left it shut.
"She's a very nice girl, very softly-spoken. I pray for her. I couldn't sleep last night. We all want her to pull through."
Another shop owner, Kalpesh Desai, of Liberty News, in Alfreton Road, said: "Everyone did everything they could and put out the fire.
"It's a bit scary to see something like that. Everyone around here is hoping she pulls through."