No sign UK 'explosion' in Leicester linked to terrorism - police

2018-02-26 05:39
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London - British police said on Sunday there was no indication a reported explosion and building collapse that injured at least six people in Leicester, a central English city, was linked to terrorism.

"The cause of the explosion will be the subject of a joint investigation by the police and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service," local police said in a statement.

"We would ask that the media and public do not speculate about the circumstances surrounding the incident, but at this stage there is no indication this is terrorist related."

The apparent explosion occurred on Sunday evening on a stretch of road containing commercial and residential properties close to the city centre.

The electricity supply to a number of properties in the area was cut while emergency services deal with the incident, police said.

'No indication of cause'

The Fire and Rescue Service said it received calls shortly after 19:00 from the public, reporting an explosion and a building fire.

It immediately dispatched six fire engines, a spokesperson said.

"We were en route when the police called to say a building had collapsed," she added.

Additional specialist search and rescue units were then dispatched, including a search and rescue dog, according to the spokesperson.

"We've got no indication of what the cause is at this moment," she said.

Six people were taken by ambulance to Leicester Royal Infirmary hospital following the incident, according to University Hospitals of Leicester, which runs three area medical facilities.

'It was very scary'

"Two of these patients are in a critical condition, while four are walking wounded," it said on Twitter.

Officials had earlier advised people only to attend the accident and emergency department "if absolutely necessary".

The fire service spokesperson also said representatives from gas and electric provider companies were in attendance at the scene, under routine procedures.

Pictures and videos posted on social media showed a property engulfed in flames visible from a distance, with rubble and debris scattered around.

Graeme Hudson told AFP he lives close to the scene and felt the blast.

"It was very scary," he said. "I live five minutes away... but my house shook. I went out and saw massive smoke and big flames.

"I quickly went out to see what's happened," he added. "(I) didn't stay for long there because (I felt) unsafe for my 11-year-old son."


Read more on:    uk  |  fires  |  explosions

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