Six people have been hospitalised after a large blast destroyed a convenience store and a home in the central English city of Leicester.
Pictures and videos posted on Twitter showed flames leaping into the sky above the city and the remains of what some witnesses said was a convenience store and a house that had been destroyed in the blast.
"All emergency services are currently dealing with this," the police force said in a statement. "Please avoid the area."
Two people are in a critical condition with the other four "walking wounded", according to Leicester's Hospitals on Twitter.
The city's fire department sent six fire engines after reports of a large explosion and a building collapse.
An explosion at a store in Leicester, UK is being treated as a major incident. Source: AAP
Residents have been told to avoid the area. Source: Twitter/ Sumeet Dhul
"We got a call about an hour ago after reports of a large explosion and a building collapse," a firefighter in the city's fire department's control room said.
Four people have been transported to hospital in a critical condition.
Leicestershire Police tweeted "at this stage there no indication this is terrorist related".
A picture used by the Leicester Mercury newspaper showed a blaze above the rubble of the destroyed building, which housed a convenience store and a flat above it.
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Update on Hinckley Road fire, #Leicester:
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust can now confirm that six people were taken by @EMASNHSTrust to Leicester Royal Infirmary from the scene. Two of these patients are in a critical condition, while four are walking wounded. https://t.co/iSgObNNw21
— Leicester's Hospitals (@Leic_hospital) February 25, 2018
"We heard an absolutely massive explosion. It was pretty frightening," the newspaper quoted an unidentified resident who lives a few streets away.
"We went to look out of the upstairs windows and saw loads of smoke, and then a few seconds later massive orange flames."
A witness described the explosion as 'absolutely massive'. Source: Reuters