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Five people taken to hospital after houses 'flattened'

Essex Fire Service has tweeted:

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#ClactonExplosion - Five people have been taken to hospital, one with life threatening injuries.

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#ClactonExplosion - five people are being assessed on scene by ambulance paramedics.

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Anglia

Colchester General Hospitals and Broomfield Hospital 'on alert' following Clacton explosion

We received several 999 calls to reports of an explosion in Cloes Lane, Clacton at 8.27am this morning.

We immediately sent five emergency ambulances, one paramedic rapid response car, our hazardous area response team (HART) and several ambulance Incident Officers.

Two air ambulances are also at scene and Colchester General Hospitals and Broomfield Hospital have been put on alert.

Our crews are currently assessing the level and nature of injuries of those involved.

We are working closely with other emergency services at the scene, our priority being to get patients to hospital to ensure they receive the expert medical help they need as quickly as possible.

– East of England Ambulance Service

Multiple casualties after 'gas fuelled' explosion

Firefighters have been called to reports of an explosion in Cloes Lane, Clacton.

Essex Fire Service says a semi-detached house is on fire and multiple casualties have been reported.

An explosion has been reported in Cloes Lane, Clacton. Credit: Google Maps
Essex Fire Service are responding to reports of an explosion in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. Credit: Google Maps

A statement reads: "At 9am, the incident commander reports two semi detached houses have been affected by the blast causing a gas-fuelled fire, which is being allowed to burn under control.

"Numerous other properties have been affected by flying debris and are being evacuated. Firefighters are searching the rubble and dealing with multiple casualties with various injuries. There are still people unaccounted for."

People 'unaccounted for' after Clacton explosion

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Update -#ClactonExplosion - the house is on fire and there are multiple casualties reported.

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#ClactonExplosion - firefighters are searching the rubble and dealing with multiple casualties with various injuries.

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Girl, 13, raped by five men as she walked home

A 13-year-old girl reported being raped by five men nearly three years after the assault because she was left so traumatised by the attack, Essex Police said.

A composite image of the alleged ringleader has been released following the attack at around 9.30pm on February 24, 2011. The incident took place when the girl was walking home along an alleyway between Bardfield Way and Langham Drive in Rayleigh.

A composite image of the alleged ringleader. Credit: Essex Police

Five men, aged between 25 and 35, assaulted the girl and then dragged her to a nearby field where the attack continued, police said.

Dc Danny Cooper said: "This was a terrifying assault by five men on a girl who was aged 13 at the time. She was traumatised and remained scared of the men until she found the courage to tell her mother what had happened.

"We want to hear from anyone in the area of the Birds Estate who has any information about this incident or from anyone who can identify the man in the e-fit who was the main perpetrator.

"He is described as being white, between 5ft 8 to 9in tall, with thick dark-coloured eyebrows and pronounced jawline and cheek bones. At the time he had spiked gelled hair."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Essex Police.

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