Leicester shop blast: Police confirm four people have died

The aftermath of last night's explosion. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.
The aftermath of last night's explosion. Picture: Aaron Chown/PA Wire.
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Four people were killed in an explosion at a building in Leicester last night, police have confirmed.

Four other people remain in hospital, one with serious injuries.

Emergency personnel load a small truck with debris at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion at around 7.03pm.

Emergency personnel load a small truck with debris at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion at around 7.03pm.

Police also believe there may still be people unaccounted for after the incident, and emergency crews are continuing a “search and rescue” operation at the site on Hinckley Road.

Supt Shane O’Neill, of Leicestershire Police, said: “There are four confirmed fatalities at this stage and a number of people still undergoing treatment in hospital.

“The building consisted of a shop premises on the ground level and a two-storey flat above it.

“We believe there may be people who have not yet been accounted for and rescue efforts continue in order to locate any further casualties.

Emergency personnel load a small truck with debris at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion at around 7.03pm.

Emergency personnel load a small truck with debris at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion at around 7.03pm.

“Once the site is deemed to be safe a joint investigation with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service will begin looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident, which at this stage is not being linked to terrorism.”

Emergency services responded to reports of the blast from concerned residents at about 7pm.

Firefighters worked through the night to dig through rubble and tackle the blaze that followed the explosion.

Emergency personnel at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion at around 7.03pm.

Emergency personnel at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion at around 7.03pm.

Video grab courtesy of Graeme Hudson of the scene after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion in Leicester.

Video grab courtesy of Graeme Hudson of the scene after a "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an explosion in Leicester.

The scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where four people were killed after a suspected explosion and the subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

The scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where four people were killed after a suspected explosion and the subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

The scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where four people were killed after a suspected explosion and the subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

The scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, where four people were killed after a suspected explosion and the subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.

Emergency personnel continue to work at the scene on Hinckley Road in Leicester, as four people were killed, after a suspected explosion and subsequent fire destroyed a shop.