At least four people were critically injured in the city of Leicester, U.K., on Sunday after British police said they were responding to reports of a massive building explosion, which they described as a “major incident.”
“All emergency services are currently dealing with this,” the police force tweeted just after 7 p.m local time. “Please avoid the area.”
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue deployed six fire trucks to the scene as photos posted to social media showed large flames engulfing buildings.
Four people were taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary, University Hospitals of Leicester confirmed on Twitter.
Leicestershire Police said in a statement that “at this stage there is no indication this is terrorist related.”
Emergency officials said the incident was being treated as a search-and-rescue operation, and a hazardous material response team also was deployed.
The city’s fire and rescue squad said it received a call “after reports of a large explosion and a building collapse,” Reuters reported.
A nearby resident told the Leicester Mercury newspaper they “heard a huge bang and … came out of the house and saw the flames.” The incident happened on a crowded main road near the city center.
Another neighbor said “there was an awful lot of smoke,” Sky News reported. She added that the building, described as a store, “doesn’t appear to be there anymore.”
Leicester is 110 miles north of London.
This is a developing story; please check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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