More than 60 firefighters are tackling a huge fire which broke out after a blast at an apartment block in London. A police cordon has been thrown up around the area, amid reports that there is debris strewn across the roads.
Currently, the cause of the explosion is not known, but a police investigation has been launched, while firefighters battle the fire. Paramedics from the London Ambulance service are also at the scene, while there are reports that at least five people have been injured. Paramedics have confirmed that they have treated three people at the scene of the explosion, while a further person has driven themselves to hospital for treatment.
However, so far, it is not clear exactly how many people have been injured as police reports are suggesting that two people have been taken to hospital in east London. A spokesperson for the Met Police said that they were called out at 17.14 to the blast in Hornchurch. Officers from all three emergency services remain at the scene. Ten fire engines can be seen parked up outside.
The police spokesperson said two people had been taken to hospital, two people were being treated at the scene, and one person had taken themselves to hospital. An update on their condition is set to be given later.
Families and residents at the block of flats have been told that they must leave the building. The local council is also on the scene to help people who may need emergency accommodation following the fire. Smoke could still be seen billowing from the building as firefighters battled to get the fire under control, and motorists and pedestrians have been told to stay away from the area.
The usually busy Southend Arterial Road was shut completely between Ardleigh Green Road and Bryant Avenue at the height of the capital’s rush hour.