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Five Dead In British Building Explosion

Five people have died following an explosion at a building in the English city of Leicester.

A search of the building has been suspended after five other people were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition.

Police believe there may still be people unaccounted for but emergency crews have temporarily halted a search and rescue operation at the site on Hinckley Road because of the "structural integrity" of a neighbouring building.

Matt Cane, Group Manager from Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "There are still pockets of fire in the basement area of the building.

"We have a significant number of specialist search and rescue teams who are supported by two search dogs.

"It may be some days yet before we will be able to establish the probable cause of the explosion."

Gas network Cadent said the supply had been isolated and establishing the cause of the fire would be a matter for emergency services.

Superintendent Shane O'Neill, of Leicestershire Police, said: "There are now five confirmed fatalities and a number of people still undergoing treatment in hospital.

"The building consisted of a shop premises on the ground level and a two-storey flat above it.

"We believe there may be people who have not yet been accounted for and rescue efforts continue in order to locate any further casualties.

"Although the cause of the explosion is not yet known, there is no evidence that this is linked to terrorism."

AAP

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