POLICE have confirmed that officers will remain at the scene of an explosion in Chippenham town centre all night.

Following an initial call from the fire service at about 6.20pm reporting an explosion at a flat above the BetFred store in Market Place, police went to the scene and cordons were put in place.

One man was taken to Southmead Hospital, Bristol, with severe burns and has since been transferred to a specialist burns hospital in Swansea.

Wiltshire Times:

  • A close up view of the damage. Picture by Trevor Porter

"We are working with partner agencies to provide temporary accommodation for two other residents from the building overnight while the scene is made safe and an investigation is carried out by Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service to determine the cause of the incident," a police spokesman said.

Duty Superintendent Phil Staynings said: “We are currently at the very early stages of the investigation. We are working with the fire and rescue service and Wiltshire Council to secure the property, which has sustained significant structural damage.

"At this stage, we are unable to determine the cause of the explosion but our investigation will continue throughout the night.

“We would like to thank local businesses who have provided refreshments, shelter and accommodation during the evening as well as volunteers from the British Red Cross who are supporting anyone affected.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.