Crews searching for dead bodies after London ‘gas explosion’

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A number of people are believed to have died in an explosion that rocked part of London.

London Fire Brigade is currently searching for bodies in the wreckage of a blast that ripped through a shop and flats in Kings Street, Ealing.

The Brigade said the exact number of people who have died is not yet known.

Station Commander Paul Morgan said: “Sadly we believe that there are fatalities within the property although we’re unable to confirm numbers at this stage.

"The explosion caused substantial damage to the shop and structural damage throughout.

“It is a painstaking and protracted incident with firefighters working systematically to stabilise the building and search for people involved. We’d ask for people to avoid the area at this time.

"In the initial stages firefighters rescued four adults and one child were rescued at the rear of the property using a ladder.

"A further fourteen adults and two children self evacuated from surrounding properties.”

The Brigade was called at around 6.40am this morning and 40 firefighters scrambled to the scene.

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The road has since been closed and residents warned to stay away.

Rescuers look set to search through the night with Kings Street expected to be closed until the morning.

Ealing Council said nearby properties have had their gas and electric switched off as a precaution.

Pictures from the scene show a shop front completely destroyed by the blast.

Debris has been blown out onto the street and shattered glass lines the pavement.

A huge police cordon has been thrown up by officers as they search remains for survivors and bodies.

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