Blast which left five injured not terror-related

An explosion which left five men in hospital and saw an Army bomb squad called to the scene is not being treated as terror-related.

The blast rocked the West Yorkshire town of Batley on Wednesday night.

It wrecked a flat which was part of a converted bank building on Hick Lane shortly before 7pm.

West Yorkshire Police said an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from the Royal Logistics Corps was called in “to ensure the safety of the property and the houses in the surrounding area”.

But Detective Superintendent Pat Twiggs said on Thursday: “At this stage, we are not treating it as a terrorist incident.”

The incident was initially labelled as a gas explosion.

Officers said they are continuing to investigate the cause of the blast.

They said emergency services were alerted at 6.47pm and five men, aged between 35 and 39, suffered burn injuries and were taken to hospital for urgent medical treatment.

They all remain in hospital at this time, a force spokesman said.

An extensive cordon remained around the blast site on Thursday afternoon.

Mr Twiggs 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.

“We will be continuing with our inquiries throughout today and would like to thank the local residents and public for their patience whilst we establish the full circumstances of the incident.”

Tracy Brabin, Labour MP for Batley & Spen, said on Twitter: “My thoughts are with those who have been injured in the incident.”

She also thanked the emergency services, saying: “Thank you so much for all you do.

“When others run from harm, you run in to protect and rescue others. Thank you from #batleyandspen.”