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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Searchers trawl through rubble after UK shop blast

Explosion kills four in Leicester. Police say there’s no evidence of terrorism

Specialist search teams were searching the rubble of a three-storey shop and flat complex in the central England city of Leicester on Monday after an explosion left four people dead and at least four more injured.

Police said there was no evidence of terrorism but said it was too early to say what caused the blast that destroyed a newly-opened Polish supermarket and the flats above it. Some people who may have been in the building remain unaccounted for.

Pictures from the scene showed a gap between a takeaway food shop and another commercial property. The shop was believed to be open at the time of the explosion at 7pm on Sunday.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene after the blast on Sunday. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene after the blast on Sunday. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

"I felt a tremor, what felt like an earthquake shock and I heard a very low boom that sounded like a very, very fast release of pressure,” said BBC journalist John Alexander who lived close by.

“I thought my house was going to fall down on top of me and all my neighbours have said the same thing. I saw one guy get pulled out and he'll be very lucky if he wasn't killed.”

Of the four people in hospital, one has serious injuries. “It is still a search and rescue operation,” said Superintendent Shane O’Neill of Leicestershire police. “It is important we try and find as many people as possible.”

Gas network Cadent said establishing the cause of the fire would be a matter for the fire and police services.

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