‘Building collapses’ in city as police and fire services race to ‘loud bang’

Emergency services have responded to a 'building collapse' in Leicester city centre today, as one person is reported to be injured. While the exact circumstances regarding the collapse are unknown, it reportedly took place in the Church Gate area of the city. Once person is thought to be injured, however this has not been confirmed yet.

Several eyewitnesses reported seeing the collapse take place this afternoon. They believe that the building affected is a former pub, the Churchgate Tavern. J Bowen, an eyewitness, said they saw one man reportedly hit by the falling debris from a building on Church Gate, adding: "When I heard it, I came and saw one man was being treated.

Everyone arrived so fast at the scene. He's been stretchered away now." Did you see the building collapse?

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Huge fire at Devon family holiday park as 10 fire engines rush to sceneA police cordon has been thrown around one of the city centre's busiest pedestrian thoroughfaresA police cordon has been thrown around one of the city centre's busiest pedestrian thoroughfares (Leicester Mercury/BPM MEDIA)Emergency crews are urging that the public to keep away from the affected areaEmergency crews are urging that the public to keep away from the affected area (Chris Gordon/Leicester Mercury)

Msgna Kubrom owns a barber shop near the incident told BBC Radio Leicester that he was cutting a customer's hair at the time of the collapse. He said: "I had a customer with a one-year-old child. When it collapsed we protected the child.

"I saw one guy - he was bleeding. The ambulance came and he went to hospital." Bowen also said they heard a loud bang during lunchtime, adding: "I live nearby and heard a really loud crashing noise, which I thought might have been a bomb or an explosion going off.

I think it's part of the roof that's fallen down on someone. "There's a cordon in place and emergency crews are still here. It's surprising to see something like this happen.

You wouldn't expect it." Another eyewitness, Halle Parker, 19, from Coalville, was in the town centre this afternoon when the building collapsed. She spoke of hearing an 'explosion' as it happened.

Meanwhile, in recent months, the area in the city centre was under extensive redevelopment, though it remains unclear if this is linked to the collapse in any way.

It has been reported that part of a structure in Church Gate has tumbled to the floor below.It has been reported that part of a structure in Church Gate has tumbled to the floor below. (Leicester Mercury/BPM MEDIA)It is reported that the building collapsed around lunchtime - with Leicester's Clock Tower now cordoned offIt is reported that the building collapsed around lunchtime - with Leicester's Clock Tower now cordoned off (Leicester Mercury/BPM MEDIA)

Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed they are establishing whether the building which is reported to have tumbled is safe to enter. They have been seen out on their ladders inspecting the building. A spokeswoman said: "We received a call at around 11.59am this morning of reports of a building collapse.

Fire crews from five different stations are in attendance while a technical rescue team is on the way to check whether people are involved with the incident. "The public is urged to avoid the area while the technical rescue team tries to establish whether the building is safe."

The exact circumstances surrounding the collapse are unknownThe exact circumstances surrounding the collapse are unknown (Chris Gordon/Leicester Mercury)Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed they are establishing whether the building which is reported to have partially collapsed is safe to enterLeicestershire Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed they are establishing whether the building which is reported to have partially collapsed is safe to enter (Leicester Mercury/BPM MEDIA)

Most recently, cordons in the city were extended - stretching from the Santander bank, to a beauty spa and surrounding the Clock Tower. Emergency services are reiterating that the public to keep away from the affected area for their own safety.

And while the scene is still being cordoned off, eyewitness J Bowen has said that those who usually pass by Church Gate to get home are being allowed to enter Mansfield House Police Station. One person who supplied footage from the scene, CrimeWithBea, has spoken of their shock of what has happened. They said: "It is so shocking.

You really don't expect it to happen in Leicester of all places. People are just shocked here and makes you wonder if it could happen to any other building here. "It's very scary.

Any number of people could have been hurt by it."

Police have also cordoned off a number of streets in the cityPolice have also cordoned off a number of streets in the city (Leicester Mercury/BPM MEDIA)The entrance to Church Gate from within Leicester's Highcross Shopping Centre is also taped offThe entrance to Church Gate from within Leicester's Highcross Shopping Centre is also taped off (Leicester Mercury/BPM MEDIA)

Road closures remain in place throughout the city, and look to be in place for some time while the response continues. Leicester Police have tweeted that the following roads have been cordoned off: High Street, Gallowtree Gate, Humberstone Gate and Belgrave Gate. Emergency services are being sought for further information.

While neither Leicestershire Police or East Midlands Ambulance Service have confirmed anything in relation their presence at the scene.

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