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Campaign to get public involved in tackling terrorism

West Midlands Police is launching a security workshop to help local businesses join them in the fight against terrorism.

Businesses will be told how to become more aware of terrorism threats Credit: PA

A range of activities to raise awareness of the threat from violent extremism will focus on five key areas: crowded places, transport hubs, preventing violent extremism, terrorist financing, and the tools that terrorists need to operate.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, from West Midlands Police, will tell an audience of business representatives in Birmingham this morning that the recent increase in the terrorism threat level demonstrates the need for everyone to work together to tackle terrorism.

Experience from around the world shows us that terrorists will target busy, crowded places to ensure that attacks have a maximum impact.

Businesses, particularly those in town and city centres, have an invaluable role to play in preventing potential attacks. Staff working in shops and entertainment centres are often the first people to spot signs that something is wrong.

We need everyone to be vigilant to things that are out of place or look suspicious, and then feel confident to come forward and report it to the police.

We are encouraging businesses to check that their security measures are effective and train their staff to detect potential threats and, if the worst should happen, respond to an attack.

– Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, West Midlands Police

Aftermath of Birmingham flat explosion

The aftermath of an explosion at a flat in Birmingham which left two men with serious injuries has been shown in photographs released by West Midlands fire service.

The men suffered serious burns in the explosion. Credit: West Midlands Fire Service
Aldersmead road was closed while emergency services dealt with the incident. Credit: West Midlands Fire Service
Emergency gas crews were sent to the scene of the explosion. Credit: West Midlands Fire Service

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Two suffer serious burns in flat explosion in Birmingham

Two men have suffered serious burns following an explosion at a flat in south Birmingham, according to West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Emergency services were called to Aldersmead Road in Northfield shortly after 8:10pm.

“On arrival, crews found two men who had reportedly been inside the property at the time of the explosion, both of whom had suffered serious burns injuries.

The first patient, a man in his 30s, was treated for burns to his arm, head and back.

The second patient, a man in his 20s, was treated for burns to his back, neck, hands and arms.

Both patients were given pain relief on scene before being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

A third patient from a nearby property was assessed on scene but did not require hospital treatment.

The cause of the explosion is unknown.”

– West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman

Two seriously injured in explosion in south Birmingham

Two men have been seriously injured in an explosion in a flat in south Birmingham.

Emergency services are still at the scene in Aldersmead Road, West Heath.

Emergency services are still at the scene in Aldersmead Road, West Heath. Credit: Google Maps

The cause of the explosion is not known but emergency gas crews are on their way to the scene.

The full extent of the damage to the building and neighbouring properties is still being established.

The two injured men are thought to be in their late 20s or early 30s and have been taken to hospital, and were believed to have been inside the flat at the time of the explosion. No other injuries have been reported at this time.

People in the area are being asked to return to their homes if safe to do so to give blue light services clear access.

Aldersmead Road and surrounding streets will be closed until the situation is resolved. Drivers and pedestrians should avoid the area.

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"I can't apologise enough" says Magical Journey boss

The organiser of The Belfry's Magical Journey Christmas experience has apologised to visitors for closing after it was "hammered by the weather'.

Paul Dolan, organiser of The Magical Journey experience, said that work was underway to get all the issues fixed by Wednesday.

We were hammered with four weeks of torrential rain which really affected the site and slowed us down.

We were very far behind but I didn't want to disappoint children.

We thought there was enough there that people wouldn't see the small details that weren't there but there were too many small details and it built up.

We shouldn't have opened yesterday. I can't apologise enough.

What we want this to be is a perfect experience.

– Paul Dolan, Magical Journey organiser

This morning organisers posted a message on the Magical Journey Facebook site saying it was 'closed for improvements'.

The attraction - designed by TV presenter Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen - was immediately slammed on social media with hundreds of complaints from disappointed customers.

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