Residents of Hinckley Road, Leicester, England, rushed outside their homes on Sunday evening after hearing the sound of a massive explosion. They saw flames climbing up a destroyed building which housed a Londis store and an apartment. Emergency services and the police rushed to the scene and began rescue operations. Four people are dead and several injured in the blast.
Residents living close to a Londis convenience store located in Hinckley Road, about a mile from Leicester city center, heard a blast at about 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 25, 2018. They felt their houses shaking even as they wondered what the noise was about. When some of them came out, they saw a fire enveloping the Londis store and the two-story apartment above.
Rubble was lying all over the street, and smoke was billowing in the air as a massive explosion had just occurred that instantaneously ripped both the shop and the apartment above. Soon emergency services, including six fire engines, rushed to the scene of the explosion and began fighting the blaze.
Four People Dead in Explosion
The police declared it a “major incident” as flames erupted from the store after what is being believed was a suspected gas explosion. Leicestershire Police Superintendent Shane O’Neill said, “There are four confirmed fatalities at this stage and a number of people still undergoing treatment in hospital. We believe there may be people who have not yet been accounted for and rescue efforts continue in order to locate any further casualties.”
Nearby Buildings Evacuated
The police have said that there was no immediate indication that the explosion was linked to terrorism. They also said that some other buildings were damaged, and homes and businesses in the area had been evacuated. A spokeswoman for the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue said that the incident was being treated as a search and rescue operation.
Residents Describe Incident
Some of the residents spoke to the media about the incident. Speaking to Sky News, Kat Pattinson, who lives on the same road as the fire, said “We are down the same street – about 500 metres from where the blast has taken place and our whole house shook. We checked on our children first and foremost and then we went outside.” She also said that the shop was usually open until about 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday.
Some Take to Twitter
Some of the residents took to Twitter to write their reactions.
— applepearmamabear (@applepearmama) February 25, 2018
Jesus, huge explosion Hinckley road area about 10 minutes ago. Can see the flames and endless sirens going off. Any idea what’s happened?
— Mark Robins (@thefoolrobins) February 25, 2018
Police Investigation Is On
A spokesman for 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.”
The police are investigating the incident.
To watch a video of the fire, click below: