Bristol

Post Office raid explosion was a 'hideous act'

Interior of the Post Office Image copyright Long Ashton Post Office
Image caption Owners David Andrews and Andrew Crabb said they want to open as soon as possible

Pictures of the damage to a Post Office blown up by thieves trying to steal a cash machine have been released.

The blast happened in the early hours of Monday at the Weston Road branch in Long Ashton, near Bristol.

A quantity of cash was stolen and three men were later arrested on suspicion of causing an explosion with intent to endanger life.

Villagers described the attack on the building as "shocking", "insane" and "a hideous act".

Owners David Andrews and Andrew Crabb said they hope to reopen "as soon as possible" after assessing the damage.

Avon and Somerset Police said the three men arrested have since been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Image copyright Long Ashton Post Office
Image caption Many villagers took to social networks to speak of the importance of the Post Office to the community

Trina Taylor, who lives in a flat above the store with her children, said she heard a "bang" at about 03:30 GMT.

"I thought the post office was being broken into or perhaps a car had crashed into it," she said.

"But I realised it was more serious when everything on the bedside cabinet had moved... and everything was on the floor.

"I called 999 and got the children and the cat out the house.

"I was cross and angry that some idiot would endanger my children... you can see that there are flats above... it's just insane."

Image copyright Long Ashton Post Office
Image caption One local described the blast as a "hideous act" against a "lovely shop"

Many villagers posted their support on the store's Facebook page.

Elizabeth Worthington wrote: "This is such a hideous act against your lovely shop... Two lovely kind people who really don't deserve this."

Bex Davey said. "It was truly shocking what devastation unfolded before our eyes".

Image caption The explosion happened at about 03:30 GMT and the resultant fire caused significant damage to the Post Office

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