London: The Hare Krishna temple in the east Midlands town of Leicester was partly gutted when suspected gas bottles used for cooking in the temple exploded.
Temple’s authorities told PTI that all those present in the temple were safe, and had been accounted for. However, some individuals received minor injuries to their hands and faces from the shrapnel.
Leicester, about 160 kilometers north of London, has a large population of Indian origin.
Firefighters were searching the wreckage of the temple and crews were using specialist equipment to enter the damaged building. Eyewitnesses said windows had been blown out in the blast.
The police cordoned off the area mainly inhabited by the Asian community.
Leicester shire fire spokeswoman Amanda Pike said fire crews had managed to complete a thorough search of the outside of the building, looking for casualties using thermal imaging cameras.
A technical rescue team was sent to search through the rubble and there are fears that the building has become unstable. Search and rescue dogs were also being used.
Eyewitness Fatima Khatri told BBC: “We were all working and we suddenly heard a big bang and for one split second we thought it was a bomb, so we all ran to the window.
“Suddenly we heard the other bang and we saw all these flames coming out and we just could not believe it because the whole street was shaken up.
“Everyone was really nervous because all we could see is the fire and people screaming and running around, all the children couldn’t stop crying and it was a terrible devastating scene.”