Explosion at new shopping centre in Bath, United Kingdom

Friday, September 26, 2008

The explosion took place in the city centre
Image: Adrian Pingstone.

An explosion has taken place in the city centre of Bath, United Kingdom in a new shopping centre which is still being built. The explosion is said to have been caused by a gas canister that caught fire and exploded, setting fire to the building. Firefighters responded and were able to extinguish it at around 18:00 BST, approximately one hour after the explosion took place.

Several shops including Marks and Spencer, Boots and Game were evacuated. Bath Spa railway station was also closed off. Avon and Somerset police spokeswoman Jenny Bigwood said "The area has been cordoned off at the request of the fire and rescue service as there are believed to be a number of gas cylinders on the site." The fire service spokesperson also said that "officers were called just after 5pm today to a report of a fire at the SouthGate building site."

According to eyewitness reports there was "black smoke, ...a few bangs and a series of fairly large explosions."

Bath Spa railway station has since reopened but several people cannot get their cars out of the area due to closed roads. A shelter has been set up at the Pavilion near the leisure centre in North Parade Road. The centre was due to open in 2009 but is due to be delayed.

Despite the large size of the explosion, it is believed that no one has suffered from any injuries as a result of the incident.