A house has been destroyed in a major explosion in Birmingham, with fears of multiple casualties.
Emergency services are currently at the scene in Dulwich Road, Kingstanding - with nearby residents being evacuated.
Police say there are reports of casualties but "the number and severity of their injuries is unknown at this time."
The road and surrounding roads have been closed off while the surrounding area is evacuated.
West Midlands Police said the cause of the blast, which could be heard from miles around, remains unknown.
Reports of the bang have come across the northern part of the city with people as far away as Sutton Coldfield reporting having heard it on Sunday evening.
West Midlands Police has also warned people to avoid the area.
A statement from West Midlands Police said officers were called at 8.38pm on Sunday.
It added: "One house is destroyed with others significantly damaged. Cars have also been damaged.
"There are reports of casualties but the number and severity of their injuries is unknown at this time."
"Evacuations are taking place. Those evacuated will be told where to meet. People in the area must immediately follow the instructions of first responders."
West Midlands Police said: "Dulwich Road and surrounding roads are closed and will be for a very long time. Please help us by avoiding the area.
"The cause of the explosion is not yet known."
The force also thanked those who had "helped shocked and injured neighbours".
West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) said West Midlands Police, West Midlands Ambulance Service, Cadent Gas and the National Grid are all working to manage the incident.
Six fire crews, three ambulances, five paramedic officers and a National Inter-Agency Liaison officer are among the resources that have been sent to the scene.
In a statement on its website WMFS said: "The explosion, the cause of which is unknown at this time, has destroyed one property and caused damage to other properties and vehicles nearby."
The statement continued: "The number of casualties or injuries is not confirmed at this time. We are working hard with colleagues from West Midlands Police, West Midlands Ambulance, Cadent Gas and National Grid to manage this incident."
West Midlands Ambulance Service said three ambulances, five paramedic officers, the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic, WM care team (a BASICS-affiliated charity providing prehospital care), a hazardous area response team and a NILO (National Inter-Agency Liaison Officer) had been sent to the scene.
Rick Payne, a city councillor for the ward, said he heard a “massive explosion” while watching television shortly after 8.30pm, and walked across to Dulwich Road to see what had happened.
He said: “I recognised that as probably most likely to be a gas explosion.“
"The police are just saying that there’s quite a lot of houses damaged as a result – probably up to five or six houses.
“The house itself, where the explosion occurred, has physically been destroyed.
“Houses either side have, partially,
“Then the houses further along the street have been damaged collaterally from the blast.”
Mr Payne said he was “not aware of any casualties”, adding the incident had been “an absolute shocker”.
He added: “When you hear an explosion of any type, straight away you know that people are going to be in distress, people are going to be in shock.“
Hopefully, the community can get back to normal as quickly as possible.
“It’s terrible to have something like this going on in the community because nobody wants to think of houses exploding and the damage and the potential for damage to life as well.”One man who “put his own life at risk” by running into the burning house to rescue someone after the explosion has been described as a “hero” by his cousin.
Callum Attwood’s cousin Reece praised his “braveness and courage” after he went to help those affected by the explosion.
“What happened in Kingstanding tonight is devastating… my cousin saved a life! He’s a hero. I’m so proud of him," he tweeted.
“Get this spread round Twitter!! His actions, Braveness and courage to do what someone else wouldn’t do and put his own life at risk to save a life! Hero CALLUM ATTWOOD.”
The text was followed by a heart emoji.
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know