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Leicester shop explosion ‘is not linked to terrorism’, police say

Witnesses described people rushing to the scene of the incident to look for victims (Picture: SWNS)
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By admin , in UK , at February 26, 2018

Leicester shop explosion 'is not linked to terrorism', police say
Witnesses described people rushing to the scene of the incident to look for victims (Picture: SWNS)

The explosion and inferno that destroyed a shop in Leicester is not believed to be related to terrorism, police have said.

Leicestershire Police said officers and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service will conduct a joint investigation into the cause of the blast in Hinckley Road.

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Huge flames engulfed the Londis store and flat above following the explosion at about 7pm.

Four people have been taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, where they are in a critical condition.

In a statement, police said that ‘at this stage there is no indication this is terrorist related’.

See NTI story NTIEXPLODE; Police have declared a
Police and firefighters will carry out a joint investigation into the incident (Picture: SWNS)
See NTI story NTIEXPLODE; Police have declared a
The shop suffered a ‘pancake collapse’ in the blast (Picture: SWNS)

Officers added: ‘Businesses and homes in the immediate vicinity have been evacuated and those affected have been taken to Hinckley Road police station as a temporary measure.

‘Four people have been taken to hospital and we await an update on their injuries.’

BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: JohnPearce/BNPS BA pilot makes emergency evacuation - from his Mercedes. A British Airways pilot had a lucky escape when his Mercedes car suddenly burst into flames as he drove home. John Pearce was oblivious to the fire that erupted underneath his white Mercedes C350 AMG estate car and ignored a motorist who tried to warn him by flashing his lights. It was only when a police officer pulled in behind Mr Pearce's blazing motor and also flashed him that he stopped. The officer got out and told Mr Pearce that his car was on fire which prompted the pilot to jump out of the diesel estate.Man escapes burning car moments before it is engulfed by flames

Power has been cut off for a number of properties in the area, many of which were evacuated by emergency services, officers added.

Dramatic photos and videos posted on social media show witnesses standing on the other side of the road in shock while police officers frantically cordon off the area.

Fire crews said the building, consisting of the shop and a flat above, suffered a ‘pancake collapse’ due to the fireball.

epa06565467 Members of the emergency services at the scene of the explosion which destroyed a property in Hinckley Road, Leicester, East Midlands, Britain, 25 February 2018. A 'major incident' has been declared by police after reports of an explosion in Leicester in which four people have been taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary hospital. EPA/TIM KEETON
The building has been completely destroyed by the blaze (Picture: EPA)
See NTI story NTIEXPLODE; Police have declared a
The shop suffered a ‘pancake collapse’ in the blast (Picture: SWNS)
Leicester shop explosion 'is not linked to terrorism', police say
Witnesses described people rushing to the scene of the incident to look for victims (Picture: SWNS)

Debris was blasted across the road as the building, which is in a terrace of shops, was completely destroyed.

Firefighters are treating the incident as a search and rescue operation and six fire engines have been requested at the scene.

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A Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: ‘This is a search and rescue at the moment. It is unknown if people are injured or trapped.’

She added that the affected property was a two floor building with a loft conversion that had suffered a ‘pancake collapse’.

Houses nearby have been evacuated and the road is closed.

See NTI story NTIEXPLODE; Police have declared a
Debris was scattered across the road by the explosion (Picture: SWNS)
See NTI story NTIEXPLODE; Police have declared a
Firefighters were greeted with a wall of flame when they arrived at the scene (Picture: SWNS)
(Picture: Bethany Welford) There has been a major incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester. All emergency services are currently dealing with this. Carlisle Street and part of Hinckley Road have been closed Please avoid the area.
People could be seen watching the horrifying scene (Picture: Bethany Welford)

An eyewitness described how onlookers ran down the street and towards the rubble as they feared people were trapped inside.

Jonny Halliwell told the Mirror: ‘People grabbed blankets and ran towards the fire to try to help people. There was rubble and shop fittings everywhere.

Four people in critical condition after explosion rips through shop in Leicester

‘I saw people pulling up chunks of rubble and searching for people underneath.’

Emergency services received calls from members of the public who reported hearing a blast at about 7.03pm.

Leicestershire Police have advised people to avoid the area while emergency services work at the scene.

(Picture: Andrew Knapp/Twitter) There has been a major incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester. All emergency services are currently dealing with this. Carlisle Street and part of Hinckley Road have been closed Please avoid the area.
Firefighters are treating it as a search and rescue operation (Picture: Andrew Knapp/Twitter)
Londis and TJ's on Hinckley Road, Leicester (Picture: Google) There has been a major incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester. All emergency services are currently dealing with this. Carlisle Street and part of Hinckley Road have been closed Please avoid the area.
The scene of the incident on Hinckley Road in Leicester (Picture: Google)

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said four people are in a critical condition and have been taken to the Leicester Royal Infirmary.

Doctors remain at the scene, while a hazardous material response team was also deployed.

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It is not clear if anyone was inside the building at the time, or if those injured were outside or in a nearby property.

Many witnesses took to Twitter, with some saying there is a bus stop directly outside the building.

(Picture: Twitter) There has been a major incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester. All emergency services are currently dealing with this. Carlisle Street and part of Hinckley Road have been closed Please avoid the area.
The cause of the ‘explosion’ is not yet known (Picture: Facebook/Cathy Brough)

Lauren Girling tweeted: ‘Massive explosion near mine, apparently a shop has exploded and there’s rubble everywhere! Hopefully everyone’s ok!’

Stu Teasdale wrote: ‘The explosion on Hinckley Road doesn’t sound good. Fingers crossed everyone is okay.’

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Another local said: ‘Hearing there has been a gas explosion around the Hinckley Road area of #Leicester hope everyone is ok.’

Leicestershire Police said: ‘There has been a major incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester.

‘All emergency services are currently dealing with this. Carlisle Street and part of Hinckley Road have been closed please avoid the area.’

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