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Leicester major incident: Emergency crews tackle blaze after report of 'explosion'

A "major incident" was declared by police after reports of an "explosion" in Leicester.

At around 7pm  Leicestershire Fire and Rescue received calls from the public who said they had heard a blast on Hinckley Road.

Read more: Police declare ‘major incident’ after explosion in Leicester

A spokeswoman said six fire engines had been requested and that the incident is currently being treated as a search and rescue operation.

It's been reported there was a "huge explosion" and flames could be seen reaching into the sky for miles around. It's thought a shop and flat have been destroyed. Sky News reported police sources saying the incident was not thought to be connected to terrorist activity.

It is not known if anyone was inside the building at the time.

Leicestershire Police tweeted: "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."

Pictures and video on social media show what appears to be a shop on the street engulfed in flames visible from a distance. A BBC video showing the aftermath of the suspected blast captured a number of people around what looked like a collapsed building.

The building appears to have stood next to a shop called TJ's Takeaway.

The fire and rescue service spokeswoman said: "This is a search and rescue at the moment. It is unknown if people are injured or trapped."

She added that the affected property was a two floor building with a loft conversion that had suffered a "pancake collapse".

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