Leeds & West Yorkshire

Batley 'gas explosion' leaves five people hurt

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Media captionSeveral people suffered burn injuries in the blast

At least five people have been hurt in a suspected gas explosion at a flat.

A number of people suffered burn injuries in the blast on Hick Lane, Batley, West Yorkshire Police said.

The bomb squad was called in after one witness reported hearing a massive bang and said he saw people covered in blood fleeing from the building.

The force said said no-one appeared to have suffered life-threatening injuries. Some local residents were evacuated from their homes.

West Yorkshire Fire Service said five people were hurt in the explosion in a two-storey building, which is a block of converted flats.

A Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal van remained at the scene on Thursday morning along with police and fire service vehicles.

Image caption The bomb disposal team was still at the blast site on Hick Lane after being called out on Wednesday night

On Wednesday night, a spokesperson said: "Firefighters are likely to be on the scene overnight and there are some concerns over the structural stability of the building."

"Investigations are continuing into the cause of the explosion."

Image copyright Lisa Simpson
Image caption West Yorkshire Police said the bomb squad was called in as a "precautionary measure"

One witness in a nearby building, who did not want to be named, told the BBC he heard "a massive bang".

"I've never heard anything like it," he said.

"I came rushing out to find glass everywhere, some even blew 300 yards.

"Then I saw two men exit the building covered in blood, smoking, obviously very shook up. It was like a war scene."

Resident, Mark Umpleby, who tweeted a picture from the scene, said "hoping and praying everyone's OK".

Other users of social media, including Charlotte spoke of hearing the loudest bang.

Ch Insp Wayne Horner said: "I understand that this will have caused concern amongst the community; residents can be reassured that police along with our partners from the other emergency services are on scene dealing with the incident."

Image copyright Baz Bunn
Image caption West Yorkshire Police confirmed officers were dealing with a suspected gas explosion

The force said the bomb squad had been called in as a precautionary measure.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service confirmed the injured had been taken to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

Specialist staff from the service's Hazardous Area Response Team are also on site.

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