Police: Reported explosion in English city a major incident

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LONDON (AP) – Police for the English city of Leicester say they are responding to a “major incident” after receiving reports of an explosion.

Leicestershire Police said on Twitter that emergency services were dealing with the incident on Hinckley Road and asked the public to stay away from the area.

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue said six fire engines were responding and the incident is being treated as a search-and-rescue operation. A hazardous material response team also was deployed.

Video footage from the scene showed a building that appeared engulfed in flames and a number of police cars and ambulances stationed nearby.

The Fire and Rescue squad said the building is believed to have collapsed and it’s not known if any people were injured or are still trapped inside.

The cause of the reported explosion has not been determined. Neighbors near the building were evacuated as a precaution. The incident happened on a crowded main road near the city center.

Eyewitnesses said there was thick smoke in the area.

Leicester is 177 kilometers (110 miles) north of London.

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