West Midlands Police has reported casualties after the explosion at a home in Dulwich Road, in the Kingstanding area of Birmingham. One man has suffered "life-threatening" injuries and has been taken to hospital.
Huge flames were seen coming out of the remains of the house after the explosion as parts of the home fell into the fire and police urged residents watching on to get back. Social media users reported hearing the explosion from "miles away", one likening it to a "loud, quick thunderclap".
In a statement the force said: "All emergency services and utility companies are that the scene of a house explosion on Dulwich Road, Kingstanding, Birmingham. One house is destroyed with others significantly damaged. Cars have also been damaged.
"Evacuations are taking place. Those evacuated will be told where to meet. People in the area must immediately follow the instructions of first responders," a statement said.
"Dulwich Road and surround roads are closed and will be for a very long time. Please help us by avoiding the area."
The force said it was called at 8.38pm, and the cause of the explosion is also not yet known.
"We will keep you updated regularly as soon as we have hard facts," the statement added.
Residents half a mile away from Dulwich Road reported feeling the explosion, with one describing it as "literally the worst thing I’ve ever felt or heard in my life".
A house exploded in kingstanding and my whole house shook. Just really hope that no-one was inside when it happened. ❤️— brogs (@broganmeatsix_) June 26, 2022
West Midlands Fire Service has sent 25 firefighters, six engines and one brigade response vehicle to the scene.
A spokesperson said: "We are working hard with colleagues from West Midlands Police, West Midlands Ambulance, Cadent Gas and National Grid to manage this incident.
"Dulwich Road is closed and is expected to be for some time. People are urged to avoid the area to allow the emergency services to do their work.
"West Midlands Police are managing evacuations in the area and we urge those local to the incident to follow the instructions of emergency service officers at the scene."
West Midlands Ambulance Service said a "large number of ambulance" resources are at the scene. These include three ambulances, five paramedic officers, the MERIT trauma doctor and critical care paramedic, the Hazardous Area Response Team and the Central Accident Resuscitation and Emergency Team.
West Midlands Police has also asked people not to post or share images of the explosion.
In a message posted on social media, the force added: "Thank you for all you kind words. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this. Emergency workers from all services and the energy companies are working really hard in very difficult circumstances. Thanks to people who have helped shocked and injured neighbours."
Some social media users volunteered to do what they could to help anyone displaced by the explosion. One said: "I can’t sit in my house knowing what’s happened without trying to help. Makes you realise how lucky you are and how quickly your life can change!"
One Twitter user, James Abbott, said: "I'm from Kingstanding myself, I don't live in Birmingham anymore but I'm praying for those people was involved in house explosion on Dulwich Road... hope injuries are not life threatening, my thoughts are with those people tonight."