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Dublin: 14°C Tuesday 27 July 2021

Several injured after explosion and major blaze at Oxford flats

Up to 40 firefighters responded to the blaze, which broke out yesterday evening.

fire Source: Luke Sproule/Screengrab

A NUMBER OF people have been injured after an explosion at a block of flats in Oxford.

Emergency services in the central southern English city were alerted at around 4.45pm yesterday following reports of an explosion, a fire and the collapse of a building.

Thames Valley Police said residents had been evacuated from nearby properties. The local ambulance service also responded. The BBC reported that up to 40 firefighters dealt with the blaze.

The cause of the explosion is unknown.

“We are keeping an open mind as to the cause of the incident however we are not treating it as terrorism-related,” Chief Inspector of Thames Valley Police Marc Tarbit said in a statement.

Oxfordshire County Council said last night that a number of people were still unaccounted for.

“At about 4.45pm or 4.50pm I was upstairs and there was an enormous bang,” Mike Magee, who lives nearby, told the Oxford Times.

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“I thought ‘oh my God’ somebody’s boiler has gone off.

I went downstairs and opened the back door and there was a series of explosions lasting two or three minutes. The first was so loud I was alarmed by it. The rest were not so loud. They were like fireworks or gun shots.

The paper reported that emergency workers had been scouring the rubble in the aftermath of the incident.

Further updates are expected from local emergency services this morning.

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Daragh Brophy

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