Five hurt after blast at disused pub

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The Independent Online

Emergency services were called today after a gas explosion at a disused pub. Five people were being treated for injuries, said police, but none was thought to be life-threatening.

Five fire engines and two ambulances were at the scene at the Florence Nightingale pub on Beckett Street in the Burmantofts area of Leeds.

The explosion happened at around 1.38pm today.

A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said the gas board had been called to the scene. She added that five pumps had attended with a major rescue unit.

The ambulance service said a paramedic with specialist training was at the scene with two ambulances.

The spokeswoman for the West Yorkshire Metropolitan Ambulance Service said: "We received a call at 13.38 to an address on Beckett Street in Leeds with details of an explosion."

The explosion happened close to St James's Hospital. A spokeswoman for the hospital said the explosion had not affected services at the site.

She said: "I believe it is something to do with a gas leak. It is not affecting St James's Hospital. I believe there has been damage to a pub which has closed down and is boarded up. I believe the roof has been blown off."

A West Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said there were reports of some injuries as a result of the explosion. But she said there were no details at the moment of the severity or how many people had been affected.

The spokeswoman said police were called to the scene just after 1.30pm. She added that road closures were in place.

Eyewitness Andrew Bannister said it appeared no-one was badly injured in the blast, which had spread debris across a large area.

He said: "It is lucky there are not more injuries. There is debris across the road and I can see some of the cars have smashed windows.

"It could have been a lot worse. Fortunately no-one has been badly injured but it will cause major disruption in terms of access to the hospital.

"We are being kept well away from the scene as I think there are fears of a second explosion."