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Explosion in Leicester kills five people

28 February 2018

FIVE PEOPLE have been killed during an explosion at a shop in Leicester, which caused the building to collapse.

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, Leicester on 25 February at approximately 7pm.

Emergency services remain at the scene this morning, searching the collapsed property and conducting enquiries in the area. At this stage, there are four confirmed fatalities and four 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.

Leicestershire Police 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 five 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.

“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. Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service group manager Matt Cane 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 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.”