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Gas leak caused British Hare Krishna temple blast

By Melissa Gray, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The blast destroyed a third of the temple in Leicester
  • No one was hurt in the explosion or resulting fire
  • A third of the building was destroyed

London, England (CNN) -- The explosion that flattened part of a Hare Krishna temple in Leicester, England, was caused by a gas leak, the fire service said Saturday.

No one was hurt in the explosion, which happened around 2:30 p.m. (9:30 a.m. ET) Friday, said a spokeswoman for the Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

The blast resulted in a fire that quickly engulfed the side extension of the building, located on a residential street in Leicester. Search-and-rescue crews used dogs and thermal imaging devices to make sure no one was trapped beneath the rubble, the fire service said.

A third of the building was destroyed, the fire service said.

A leak in a cylinder containing liquefied petroleum gas was the cause of the explosion, said the fire service spokeswoman, who could not be named in line with policy.

Fire crews were returning to the scene at "regular intervals" Saturday to check that it was safe, she said.

The building belongs to ISKCON Leicester, the local Hare Krishna chapter, which was in the middle of celebrations for Janmastami, a festival commemorating the birth of Lord Krishna.

The cylinder was powering a large cooker that was being used for a festive meal, Britain's Press Association reported.

About 30 people managed to escape moments before the explosion after the festival organizer raised the alarm about the gas leak, the PA reported.

Leicester is east of Birmingham, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of London.

 
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