Bedford: Buildings evacuated after a gas explosion destroyed flats

After a major gas explosion at a Bedford block of flats, two people were taken to hospital.

Bedford: Buildings evacuated after a gas explosion destroyed flats

After a major gas explosion at a Bedford block of flats, two people were taken to hospital. One with serious injuries.

At 09:30 BST, the incident occurred in Redwood Grove. Twenty flats were engulfed by fire.

Witness Alex Feltham claimed that he heard a "huge boom" and that the roof of the block had been torched. He claimed that the flames spread quickly.

Two people were injured by the explosion that caused a "significant fire", according to police.

Adrian Marz, a resident of a third-floor flat on the top floor in the block where the explosion occurred, claimed that he witnessed two people leap from windows to escape the flames.

He described how, upon hearing the explosion, he and a partner ran to knock on doors and get everyone out. Then, when they got outside, I saw the walls falling apart and all the windows were out. There was smoke and flames almost instantly.

"I saw two people leap out of the building, and I started helping them out... bringing the danger away, but it was very serious and very large explosion."

Police said that an emergency centre was set up at The John Bunyan Centre, Bedford, for those who need support and evacuees.

The fire service and Bedfordshire Police have asked residents to stay clear of the area.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service stated that the fire was caused a "major gaz explosion" and asked people to keep their doors and windows shut.

Witness Mr. Feltham stated that after hearing the "boom", the block of flats turned into "a raging fireball".

He said, "The damage has been extensive."

Adam Fisher, another witness, described "a massive explosion".

He said, "Everyone went into our work carpark to see what was going on."

"Our building is next to the apartment complex – immediately an inferno [was] visible], huge smoke cloud billowing and people screaming, people frantically calling 911."

The block of flats located next to the block with three stories where the explosion occurred has been evacuated as well. Police stated that they are "working as fast as we can" to get residents back in their homes as soon as possible.

Another nearby primary school was also evacuated.

Andy George, Head of Shackleton Primary School said that "Due to Shackleton Primary's close proximity to the incident, all the pupils have been sent home by the school."

"All children are safe, and the school works with the emergency services. The school anticipates reopening tomorrow.

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