Firefighters from Melton were deployed to last night’s (Sunday’s) devastating building collapse in Leicester which led to the death of at least five people.
Crews from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service and East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) plus Leicestershire Police officers responded to reports of an explosion and fire at a building in Hinckley Road at about 7pm.
Emergency services remain at the scene this morning, searching the collapsed property and conducting enquiries in the area.
At this stage, there are five confirmed fatalities and five people remain in hospital, with one casualty in a ‘critical’ condition.
A fire service spokesperson said Melton fire station sent a relief pump to the scene at 11pm last night as firefighters fought desperately to locate victims and get the blaze under control.
Superintendent Shane O’Neill, of Leicestershire Police, said: “There are a large number of resources from various agencies at the scene in Hinckley Road and they are expected to be in place throughout the day.
“We know the explosion and subsequent fire will have caused considerable concern to residents and business owners in the area and we would like to thank people for their support and patience while teams continue with their work at the scene.
“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.”
He added: “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 are not being linked to terrorism.”
Matt Cane, Group Manager with the country fire brigade, said: “Crews have worked through the night, alongside partner agencies, as they continue to search the scene in order to try and locate any further survivors or casualties.
“We have six fire crews on scene, including a specialist search and rescue team who are supported by two search dogs, and this level of resourcing is likely to be in place throughout the day.
“The cause of the explosion and fire is still yet to be determined and we will work closely with colleagues from the police as our enquiries into the circumstances continue today.”
Anyone concerned about family members are advised to contact police on 101.