Police declare 'major incident' after explosion in Leicester

A "major incident" has been declared by police after reports of an explosion in Leicester.

At around 7.03pm Leicestershire Fire and Rescue received calls from the public who said they had heard a blast on Hinckley Road.

A spokeswoman said six fire engines had been requested and that the incident is currently being treated as a search and rescue operation.

Leicestershire Police tweeted: "There has been a major incident on Hinckley Road, Leicester.

"All emergency services are currently dealing with this. Carlisle Street and part of Hinckley Road have been closed. Please avoid the area."

Pictures and video on social media show what appears to be a shop on the street engulfed in flames visible from a distance.

The building appears to have stood next to a shop called TJ's Takeaway.

The fire and rescue service spokeswoman said: "This is a search and rescue at the moment. It is unknown if people are injured or trapped."

She added that the affected property was a two floor building with a loft conversion that had suffered a "pancake collapse".