British emergency officials Thursday say a large blast near a water treatment facility in southwest Britain has resulted in “multiple casualties.”
In a statement, the Avon and Somerset Police said the explosion is believed to involve one of several chemical tanks at a water recycling center in the industrial area of Avonmouth, located near Bristol, about 195 kilometers west of London.
They provided no details regarding the casualties.
Witnesses at a nearby warehouse reported hearing a loud “bang” and felt the building shake late morning, local time.
Pictures shared on social media by first responders and others show a tank with a large hole ripped in the top, and a helicopter and emergency services on the scene.
The police department said a rescue operation was carried out a short time later, led by the local fire service, and crews from at least eight municipalities responded, including paramedic teams and a helicopter crew.
A chief inspector with local police said they have cordoned off the area and a full investigation is underway. He said officers from multiple agencies will likely remain at the scene for some time.