'Massive explosion' reported as building flattened in Leicester

Four killed after Polish shop flattened in massive explosion in central England.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 6:33 AM


At least four people were killed and two more injured on Sunday evening when an explosion levelled a building in the city of Leicester in central England, in what local authorities called a “major incident”.

Leicester police say that a “massive explosion” destroyed a building on Hinckley Road which reportedly housed a Polish shop called the Western Park Store, as well as a private home.

“All emergency services are currently dealing with this” local police tweeted, urging locals to “please avoid the area.”

British police said there was no immediate indication that the explosion was linked to terrorism.

“Incident will be the subject of a joint investigation with the fire service,” the local police force said on Twitter. “At this stage there is no indication this is terrorist related.”

The cause of the explosion remains unknown.

"We were just in the house...about 500 meters from where the blast has taken place," resident Kat Pattinson told Sky News.

"The whole house shook, there was a bang and the whole house shook."

"The emergency services were in attendance, there was a lot of smoke, just an awful lot of smoke."

Six firefighting units have been dispatched to the scene to battle a blaze sparked by the explosion.

A witness told the Leicester Mercury a “massive” fire erupted at the scene seconds after the explosion.

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

Police have cordoned off the surrounding streets and evacuated some 60 houses near the scene of the explosion, the BBC reported.