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26 February 2018, 07:20 | Updated: 26 February 2018, 18:24
Five people are confirmed to have died in an explosion at a property off Hinckley Road in Leicester on Sunday night.
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, East Midlands Ambulance Service and Leicestershire Police responded to reports of an explosion and fire at a building in Hinckley Road at about 7pm.
Emergency services remain at the scene t, searching the collapsed property and conducting enquiries in the area.
At this stage, there are five people known to have died and five people remain in hospital, one with serious injuries.
Hinckley Road, from its junction with Bolton Road to its junction with Woodville Road, is closed in both directions and motorists are advised to avoid the area and listen to local traffic reports for up-to-date information on road closures.
Superintendent Shane O’Neill said: “There are a large number of resources from various agencies at the scene in Hinckley Road and they are expected to be in place throughout the day.
“We know the explosion and subsequent fire will have caused considerable concern to residents and business owners in the area and we would like to thank people for their support and patience while teams continue with their work at the scene.
“There are four confirmed fatalities at this stage and a number of people still undergoing treatment in hospital. The building consisted of a shop premises on the ground level and a two-storey flat above it. We believe there may be people who have not yet been accounted for and rescue efforts continue in order to locate any further casualties.
The Superintendent gave us an update from the scene:
Superintendent Shane O’Neill from @leicspolice has been speaking to Capital’s @hulsey1987 as four people are confirmed dead in an explosion at a shop and a flat in Hinckley Road #Leicester #CapitalReports pic.twitter.com/37Nne1vZFG— CapitalEastMids News (@CapitalEMNews) February 26, 2018
“Once the site is deemed to be safe a joint investigation with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service will begin looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident, which at this stage are not being linked to terrorism.”
Electricity to a number of homes was affected by the incident and a cordon was put in place, but no neighbouring properties were evacuated overnight. Matt Cane, Group Manager, said: “Crews have worked through the night, alongside partner agencies, as they continue to search the scene in order to try and locate any further survivors or casualties.
We spoke to Tahir who was driving past when it happened:
“We have six fire crews on scene, including a specialist search and rescue team who are supported by two search dogs, and this level of resourcing is likely to be in place throughout the day.
“The cause of the explosion and fire is still yet to be determined and we will work closely with colleagues from the police as our enquiries into the circumstances continue today.”
Anyone concerned about family members are advised to contact 101.