4 confirmed dead in UK explosion

Monday, 26 February 2018 14:55

Four people were killed and another four remain in hospital on Monday following an explosion that ripped through a building in Leicester, England, on Sunday.

The explosion that demolished a shop and flats above it took place shortly after 7 p.m. local time (1900GMT), with Leicestershire Police declaring it a “major incident”.

Police cordoned off the scene and surrounding roads, asking people to avoid the area.

Four people were taken to a nearby hospital in a "critical condition", East Midlands Ambulance Services said shortly after the incident.

Emergency services remained at the scene Monday morning, searching the collapsed property and conducting enquiries in the area, according to police.

“At this stage, there are four confirmed fatalities and four people remain in hospital, one with serious injuries,” a statement said.

Police said they do not know the cause of the explosion but they believed the incident was not terror related.

“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,” Shane O'Neill from the local police said.

"The building consisted of a shop premises on the ground level and a two-story 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," he said.

" ... it is a joint investigation between the fire service and the police, and the priority is to make the area safe," he added.

The explosion has reduced a shop and above flats to rubble.