Hornchurch flats explosion: Two men arrested

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion Image copyright PA
Image caption An explosion at the three-storey block of flats was reported shortly after 17:00 GMT

An explosion has ripped through a block of flats in east London causing the building to partially collapse.

Two men have been arrested over the blast which happened at Bridge Point on Ardleigh Green Road in Hornchurch shortly after 17:00 GMT on Monday.

Firefighters said they had rescued 25 people as residents were evacuated from the building.

The arrested men, who both required hospital treatment, are being held on suspicion of arson.

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Media captionThe cause of the explosion is not yet known

London Ambulance Service said four people had been treated at the scene and taken to hospital, while a woman and a child trapped on the building's second floor had escaped down a fire brigade ladder.

A Havering Council spokesman said the explosion had happened in a ground-floor flat.

He said 41 properties had been evacuated and most residents went to a local McDonald's restaurant while alternative accommodation was found.

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Three ambulance crews, 10 fire engines and the Metropolitan Police have been at the scene
Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

London Fire Brigade station manager Paul McClenaghan said: "Crews worked hard to get the fire under control and are now making efforts to ensure the structure of the building is safe.

"Firefighters will remain at the scene damping down any remaining pockets of fire for some time."

Police said road closures were in place and people were advised to avoid the area.

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