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Blast, fire at Hindu temple in Leicester

The Hare Krishna temple in the east Midlands town of Leicester was partly gutted when suspected gas bottles used for cooking in the temple exploded.

world Updated: Sep 04, 2010 00:24 IST

The Hare Krishna temple in the east Midlands town of Leicester was partly gutted when suspected gas bottles used for cooking in the temple exploded.

Temples authorities said that all those present in the temple were safe, and had been accounted for. However, some individuals received minor injuries to their hands and faces from the shrapnels.

Leicester, about 160 kilometers north of London, has a large population of Indian origin.

Firefighters were searching the wreckage of the temple and crews were using specialist equipment to enter the damaged building. Eyewitnesses said windows had been blown out in the blast. The police cordoned off the area.

Leicester shire fire spokeswoman Amanda Pike said fire crews had managed to complete a thorough search of the outside of the building, looking for casualties using thermal imaging cameras.

Witness Fatima Khatri told BBC: "We were all working and we suddenly heard a big bang and for one split second we thought it was a bomb. Suddenly we heard the other bang and we saw all these flames ...and we just could not believe it because the whole street was shaken up. Everyone was really nervous because all we could see is the fire and people screaming and running around."