Leeds & West Yorkshire

Batley explosion: Gas ruled out as cause of blast

Scene in Batley
Image caption West Yorkshire Fire Service said the explosion was in a two storey building, which is a block of converted flats

An explosion at a flat which injured five men was not caused by gas, police said.

A witness near Hick Lane, Batley, told the BBC he heard a "massive bang" on Wednesday night, with some nearby residents evacuated from their homes.

The men, aged between 35 and 39, suffered burns injuries and remain in hospital.

West Yorkshire Police initially believed it to be a gas explosion, but is now treating it as "unexplained".

"At this stage, we are not treating it as a terrorist incident," a spokesman added.

Image caption A large police cordon remains in place near the site of the explosion

Emergency services were called to the two-storey block of converted flats at about 18:45 GMT.

The bomb squad also attended "as a precautionary measure", officers said.

A Royal Logistic Corps bomb disposal van was at the scene on Thursday morning, along with police, fire service and gas vehicles, but has since left.

A police cordon remains in place in the centre of the town.

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

Det Supt Pat Twiggs, of West Yorkshire Police, said: "Police and partner agencies have worked throughout the night to ensure the scene is safe and there is no safety risk to members of the public.

"All injured parties are still in hospital receiving treatment for their injuries."

He added: "We will be continuing with our enquiries throughout today and would like to thank the local residents and public for their patience whilst we establish the full circumstances of the incident."

Image copyright Baz Bunn
Image caption West Yorkshire Police officers initially said they believed it to be a gas explosion, but ruled this out on Thursday

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."

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

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