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15 February 2017, 16:05
One person unaccounted for after an explosion at a block of flats in Oxford.
Statement from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue, and Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance Service
Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service, and Thames Valley Police and South Central Ambulance service remain at the scene of an incident in West Oxford.
The emergency services were contacted at 4.45pm yesterday to reports of an explosion, a fire and the collapse of a property in Osney Lane and Gibbs Crescent area of Oxford.
Crews from South Central Ambulance Service also attended the scene.
Two people have been treated for minor injuries and one was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Members of South Central Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area team are on scene supporting the ongoing operation.
A number of people have been evacuated from the area, they are being offered support and are also being assisted by Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council and A2Dominion.
The Redcross have also been assisting in finding accommodation for people who have had to be evacuated.
Kerry Blair, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue’s Incident Commander, said: “Firefighters remain on the scene of the incident at Osney Mead. They have this morning been working on site safety and have also been risk assessing the site and conducting a systematic search of the area with the assistance of Thames Valley Police.
“Work has been taking place to seek to give us the ability to reduce the current extent of cordon and allow the phased return of some residents to their homes.
“Around 25 firefighters have remained at the scene this afternoon to undertake this work. Urban Search and rescue specialists from Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue have remained involved.”
Supt Joe Kidman LPA Commander for Oxford City LPA, said: “This was a very concerning incident and emergency services are likely to have a significant presence in the area in the coming days.
“At this time one person remains unaccounted for and we are offering ongoing support to that person’s family at this time.
“I am aware that this incident will have significant impact on the community and our multi-agency approach will aim to support those who need it most and hopefully minimise the disruption to those who have been evacuated and the wider community.
“I can assure you that a full and thorough investigation is being carried out into this incident by detectives, crime scene investigators and fire investigators although at this stage it is too early for us to comment on what the cause of the reported explosion and fire was. "