LEICESTER – British police searched for survivors Monday in the rubble of a shop and apartment destroyed by an explosion in the city of Leicester on Sunday evening,
The death toll rose to five from four on Monday, police said. Five others were taken to hospital, one of whom remained in critical condition.
CCTV footage posted on the local newspaper’s website showed the entire front of the building shooting into the road as a car passed. The scene was then engulfed in fire.
The Leicester Mercury said the shop was a Polish convenience store called Zabka Leicester, and a two-storey apartment was above it.
Police said there was no immediate indication that the explosion was linked to terrorism. Investigators were working to determine the cause, and specialist rescue teams with search dogs were looking for survivors and further casualties.
“There are four confirmed fatalities at this stage, and a number of people still undergoing treatment in hospital,” Leicestershire police Supt. Shane O’Neill said.
“We believe there may be people who have not yet been accounted for and rescue efforts continue in order to locate any further casualties.”
Local resident Harrish Patni told Sky News: “We heard this massive explosion, the shop window six doors away vibrated and we thought it can’t be a car accident, it didn’t sound like a crash.
“We came outside and there was a big cloud of smoke, bricks all across the road.”
Leicester, in the centre of England, has long been one of Britain’s most culturally diverse cities, with a large population of people from the Asian subcontinent and many other ethnicities.