At least four people were critically injured in the city of Leicester, U.K. on Sunday after British police said they were responding to a “major incident” — not believed to be terrorism — following reports of an explosion in the area.
“All emergency services are currently dealing with this,” the police force tweeted just after 7 p.m local time. “Please avoid the area.”
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue deployed six fire trucks to the scene as photos posted to social media showed large flames engulfing buildings.
Four people were taken to a hospital, Sky News reported. The British broadcaster also reported the incident is not believed to be connected to terrorism.
A spokesperson told Sky the incident was being investigated “as a search and rescue operation.” The city’s fire and rescue squad said it received a call “after reports of a large explosion and a building collapse,” Reuters reported.
A nearby resident told the Leicester Mercury newspaper they “heard a huge bang and … came out of the house and saw the flames.” The incident happened on a crowded main road near the city center.
Another neighbor said “there was an awful lot of smoke,” Sky News reported. She added that the building, described as a store, “doesn’t appear to be there anymore.”
Leicester is 110 miles north of London.
This is a developing story; please check back for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.