Several injured after explosion destroys buildings in Leicester

Two people in critical condition after shop and home damaged in ‘major incident’

Pictures and videos posted on Twitter showed flames leaping into the sky above the city. Photograph: Graeme Hudson/PA

Pictures and videos posted on Twitter showed flames leaping into the sky above the city. Photograph: Graeme Hudson/PA

 

Six people were injured, two of them critically, after an explosion destroyed a convenience store and a home in Leicester on Sunday evening.

British police declared a major incident following the explosion.

Pictures and videos posted on Twitter showed flames leaping into the sky from the site which was reduced to rubble.

“All emergency services are currently dealing with this,” the police force said in a statement. “Please avoid the area.”

Six casualties were been taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary, the hospital said. A spokesman added: “Two of these patients are in a critical condition, while four are walking wounded.”British police declared a major incident on Sunday evening following the explosion.

The city’s fire department said it sent six fire engines after reports of a large explosion and a building collapse.

“We got a call about an hour ago after reports of a large explosion and a building collapse,” a firefighter in the city’s fire department’s control room said.

A picture used by the Leicester Mercury newspaper showed a blaze and the rubble of the destroyed building which the newspaper said housed a convenience store and a flat above it.

“We heard an absolutely massive explosion. It was pretty frightening,” the Mercury quoted an unidentified resident, who lives a few streets away, as saying.

“We went to look out of the upstairs windows and saw loads of smoke, and then a few seconds later massive orange flames.”

The local ambulance service said it dispatched a hazardous response team to the site. – Reuters/PA