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.
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.
Superintendent 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.
“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 explosion’s subsequent blaze.