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Two people have died after a suspected gas explosion at a shop in west London.
The blast occurred in a hair salon and mobile phone shop on King Street, Southall, just after 6.30am.
Forty firefighters were scrambled to the scene, and residents were told to stay away.
Four adults and one child were rescued from the property, but two people were tragically found dead.
London Fire Brigade Station Commander Paul Morgan said: “Our crews have searched the property using specialist equipment including the use of a USAR [urban search and rescue] dogs. We can confirm that sadly two people have died at the scene.
“It has been a painstaking and protracted incident with firefighters working systematically to stabilise the building and search for people involved. Operations have been concluded for the evening and will restart in the morning.
"The explosion caused substantial damage to the shop and structural damage throughout.
"In the initial stages firefighters rescued four adults and one child were rescued at the rear of the property using a ladder. A further fourteen adults and two children self evacuated from surrounding properties.”
Shocking pictures from the scene show a shop front completely destroyed by the blast.
Debris was blown out onto the street and shattered glass lined the pavement.
Ealing Council said nearby properties had their gas and electric switched off as a precaution.
A London Ambulance Service spokeswoman earlier confirmed they had treated and discharged one person.
In a video posted by local police, officers urged members of the public to avoid the area.
The officer recording the video says: “Dear residents, business owners and the community of Southall.
“Please, please avoid King Street this morning and for the rest of the day due to a local incident. Thank you very much.”
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