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  1. Latest updates from explosion in Oxford and the rest of today's news from Oxfordshire
  2. Explosion in block of flats at 16:45 GMT Tuesday
  3. A "small number of people" remain unaccounted for
  4. Several people have sustained injuries

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Good evening

Dave Gilyeat

BBC South

Thanks for joining us on BBC Local Live for Oxfordshire today.

We'll be back tomorrow at 08:00 with more updates.

People in trailer taken to police accomodation

Tweeting in response to a query from our reporter, Thames Valley Police said the passengers in the trailer of a truck stopped by its road unit and thought to be refugees are being transported to police accommodation.

The vehicle was stopped after reports at 13:01 of a hand seen appearing from the trailer as it traveled down the M40. 

British Red Cross: '20 people made homeless by blast'

About 20 people were made homeless by the Osney blast, the British Red Cross has said.

It called it a "distressing incident" for those affected, and had nine of its volunteers at the scene.

Daniel Collins, emergency response operations manager, said: "Some had been on their way home for a Valentine’s Day dinner and had actually witnessed the explosion and seen the fire engines and helicopters overhead. There were a lot of people who were clearly in shock.

"Our job was to provide emotional support and get people something to eat and drink. Some were able to stay with friends and family for the night but we also supported a smaller group of around 15 people to settle into nearby accommodation provided by the local authority."

Osney rubble

Man found in road at night 'was hit by car'

Yesterday we told you police were looking into the reason why a man was in a road in Nuneham Courtenay with serious injuries just after midnight.

Officers received a report of the 20-year-old man being on the A4074. The man is currently in a critical condition and is being treated in hospital.

Today PC Victoria Jones said: "We believe now that the victim was hit by a vehicle. He is in a very serious condition and we would urge anyone who saw anything that could help us with our investigation to call us." 

The road had to be closed between the Goldenballs and Berinsfield roundabouts until 6:30 yesterday.

Collapsed Osney site "couldn't sustain life'

Weather: 'Dry and cool'

BBC Weather

It will be dry overnight with some clear spells. 

In rural areas it will become rather cool though, and patchy mist and fog are likely to form in places like The Chilterns. 

Minimum Temperature: 5C (41F)

Twenty-five firefighters remain at scene of Osney blast

A statement from Kerry Blair, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue’s Incident Commander, in full.

"Firefighters remain on the scene of the incident at Osney Mead. They have this morning been working on site safety and have also been risk assessing the site and conducting a systematic search of the area with the assistance of Thames Valley Police.

"Work has been taking place to seek to give us the ability to reduce the current extent of cordon and allow the phased return of some residents to their homes.

"Around 25 firefighters have remained at the scene this afternoon to undertake this work. Urban Search and rescue specialists from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue have remained involved."

View more on twitter

Osney blast having 'significant impact on the community'

Supt Joe Kidman has called the Osney explosion a "concerning incident".

Osney rubble

He added: "At this time one person remains unaccounted for and we are offering ongoing support to that person's family at this time. 

"I am aware that this incident will have significant impact on the community and our multi-agency approach will aim to support those who need it most and hopefully minimise the disruption to those who have been evacuated and the wider community. 

"I can assure you that a full and thorough investigation is being carried out into this incident by detectives, crime scene investigators and fire investigators although at this stage it is too early for us to comment on what the cause of the reported explosion and fire was. "

BreakingSearch operation at site of Osney explosion

One person remains unaccounted for following the explosion near a block of flats west of Oxford city centre, police have said. 

Site of Oxford explosion

They said they expect to be at the scene for days. The cause is unknown.

'Refugees' found hiding in trailer on M40

Thames Valley Police's roads unit has tweeted that 11 refugees were found hiding in a trailer stopped while driving on the M40 in Oxfordshire.

View more on twitter

First-hand account of 'ferocious' Osney explosion

Ben Brewis gives this account of hearing the explosion that destroyed a three-storey block of flats in Oxford yesterday. 

He said: "I was working in the Thames Business Centre on Osney Mead when the ferocious explosion quite literally rocked the building.

The fire
Alexander Hammonds

"I still can't get my head around the force of the blast - the ground shook and the lights dimmed even though we're a few streets away over the river. 

"We thought a lorry had ploughed into the building or a plane had crashed nearby. The whole of Oxford heard it. It was no rumble but a huge blast."

Spider silk could help develop super-strong material

Howard Shannon

BBC Radio Oxford News

The silk from one of the most venomous spiders in the world could help develop a new, super-strong material, say researchers from  Oxford University's Department of Zoology.

The American brown recluse spider has long been known for its signature necro-toxic venom - as well as its unusual silk.

Work has been underway to discover how the spider is able to make its silk uncommonly strong.

If applied to synthetic materials, the technique could inspire scientific developments and improve impact absorbing structures used in space travel.

The university worked together with a team from the Applied Science Department at Virginia's College of William & Mary.

Black widow
Science Photo Library

John Radcliffe Hospital parking: Your Facebook comments

You've been letting us know on Facebook about what you think of Oxford City Council restricting the number of spaces at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Steve Dawe said: "This will get worse if the £200m cut to health services in Oxford by 2020 closes the Horton and the County's community hospitals. Cuts? You ain't seen nothing yet."

The hospital

Bob Hounslow said: "They say it would increase the traffic in Headley Way. But surely it would stop the queues sometimes right out to the A40? The truth is Oxford hates the motor car so suggesting increasing car park capacity within the City is a complete anathema to these bicycle loving bigots."

Bill McKinnon said: "The extra traffic is already with us, it just has nowhere to park immediately and so causes congestion. A little while ago a second storey was put onto the open car park at the Ice-Rink. It only took a few short weeks to build it."

Fire at animal sanctuary kills sheep

Thames Valley Police is investigating a fire at Hill Farm, Appleford, Abingdon, that killed two sheep late last night.

An animal sanctuary at the site rescues and rehomes animals. 

A force spokeswoman said: "This is being treated as an unexplained fire and investigations are ongoing to establish the cause." 

Philip Pullman announces new book trilogy

Oxford-based author Philip Pullman has announced the publication of the long-awaited follow-up to his best-selling His Dark Materials series of novels.

The new trilogy, which will be partly set in Oxford, is called The Book of Dust, and the first novel will come out in October, 17 years after the last instalment.

He says the books are an "equel", rather than a prequel or sequel.

The His Dark Materials trilogy sold more than 17.5 million copies and was translated into 40 languages.

Philip Pullman talks exclusively about The Book of Dust

Man charged with murder after Headington stabbing

A man has been charged with murder after a 35-year-old was stabbed and died in hospital

The victim, Dominqos Romalho from Oxford, was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital on Monday afternoon after the incident in Windmill Road, Headington.

Windmill Road cordon
Philip Smithson

Egidio Da Silva Alves, 27, of The Slade, Oxford, has been charged with murder and possessing a bladed weapon.

He will appear in Banbury Magistrates' Court this morning.

Blast leaves two holes in nearby buildings


Residents describe 'carnage' after explosion

Oxford Mail

David Stevenson, who lives in Gibbs Crescent, said this morning he was in his flat when he heard the explosion.

"We all rushed out and just came out to carnage. There was so much smoke."

Fire devastates building after explosion

Emergency services respond to Oxford explosion

'Scary rumble' of last night's explosion

BBC Radio Oxford

John Gardner lives in Bridge Street near Osney and told our reporter the blast was a "scary rumble" that "sounded like scaffolding coming down".

'Strange atmosphere' at scene of explosion

Phil Mercer

BBC Radio Oxford

There's a strange atmosphere at the scene today. 

I'm standing on the other side of the river and I can see there's still quite a bit of activity, but the emergency services don't seem to be working as frantically as I've seen when dealing with other big incidents.

The scene

We know now that at least three people have been injured and a number of other people are still unaccounted for.

Ambulance service does not believe blast was 'gas explosion'

We still don't know what caused the explosion in Osney, but South Central Ambulance Service said last night it does not believe it was a gas explosion.

It has been reported that the block of flats does not have a gas supply, but an onlooker told BBC Oxford gas canisters could have been to blame.

The scene last night
Alexander Hammonds

Emergency services still at scene of explosion

Phil Mercer

BBC Radio Oxford

There is no news from police officers at the scene of the blast about the people still unaccounted for.

You can see an open door to the third floor neighbour's flat without any way to get to it. 

Emergency services are inspecting the remains of a burnt out boat, but apart from that there is little to be seen happening.

The scene
The scene

'No confirmation' of cause of blast

Oxfordshire County Council has said there is "no confirmation" about the cause of last night's explosion and a "small number of people" remain unaccounted for.

The scene last night
Alexander Hammonds
The scene of the explosion last night

A spokesman said: "A number of properties were evacuated as a safety measure and residents are being assisted with accommodation through Oxfordshire County Council's Emergency Planning and social care teams and Oxford City Council.

"Members of the public are advised to avoid the area while officers and other emergency services are on the scene."

'Scene of devastation' after Osney blast

Phil Mercer

BBC Radio Oxford

BBC Oxford's Phil Mercer is at the scene of the explosion in Osney Mead last night.

He said: "There is a pile of rubble where once there was a three-storey block of flats, and an open scar at the front of the building.

"It is a scene of devastation.

"Firefighters are examining the burnt out remains of a boat that got caught up in the blast."

Watch: Fire rages after Osney Mead explosion

A reporter from the Oxford Mail filmed this footage of the fire after the explosion in Osney Mead.

Police still at the scene of Osney Mead blast

BBC Oxford's Phil Mercer is on the scene in Osney Mead this morning after last night's explosion, and said emergency services are still on the scene.

The scene
The scene

Travel update: Mill Street blocked after Osney Mead explosion

'People still unaccounted for' after explosion

Oxfordshire County Council said last night a "small number of people" remained unaccounted for after an explosion west of Oxford city centre.

Up to 40 firefighters attended the scene at 16:45 GMT and two people sustained injuries in the blast. The burning building later collapsed.

The fire
Alexander Hammonds

The cause of the explosion, which happened in the Osney Lane and Gibbs Crescent area close to a three-story block of flats, is unknown.

Two people have been treated for minor injuries and one was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Good morning

Hello and welcome to Oxfordshire Live on this Wednesday morning

We'll be from bringing you the latest news headlines from around the county.

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