Birmingham & Black Country

Arson arrest after Birmingham high rise explosion

Police cordon Image copyright Lee Baker/West Midlands Fire Service
Image caption Police cordoned off part of Cressage Avenue at Willetts Road in Northfield after an explosion

A 45-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson after an explosion on the top floor of a block of flats.

Windows were blown out on the eighth storey of Sandown Tower in Northfield, Birmingham, said firefighters.

The top two floors were evacuated and the occupant of the flat at the centre of the blast accounted for, the fire service said.

West Midlands Police said the blast was not terrorism-related or a gas explosion.

The force said a man was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

Structural checks to the building were made as a precaution, a spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said.

The emergency services and Birmingham City Council have started organising the return of residents to their homes.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "Police have cordoned off part of Cressage Avenue at Willetts Road in Northfield after an explosion at a flat just before 10.30 GMT.

"The cause of the explosion is not known at present but the fire investigation team and forensic experts are investigating."

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