A building being used as a furniture warehouse and a dance studio was destroyed in the blast – and a nearby funeral parlour was also affected.
The explosion, which happened in the New Ferry area, was heard as far away as Liverpool and North Wales.
Ian Kenyon, a reporter for Wirral Radio, said: “A number of people who were eating in a nearby restaurant are reported to have been injured and have been taken to hospitals across the region.
“Thankfully this happened on a quiet shopping street late at night, but residents in the nearby village of Port Sunlight have been evacuated.”
He told Sky News a “significant” cordon has been set up around the collapsed buildings, and a smell of gas was reported to the major incident unit and National Grid engineers at the scene.
“There is a certainty toxicity to the air … floodlights are being erected as they begin the job of sifting through the rubble,” Mr Kenyon said.
Merseyrail says trains have been suspended in the New Ferry area because of “potential damage” to a bridge.
The Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service said eight fire engines have been sent to the “major incident” – with extensive road closures throughout the area.
People who have been evacuated from their homes will face a long wait before they are given the all-clear to return.
Spokesman Dan Stephens said: “This incident is likely to be protracted, this is likely to last several days. Very significant damage as you can tell, so it will be some time before people will be allowed back into their houses.”
CLEVELAND, Okla. (KTUL) — Cleveland residents are left wondering how to get their medications after a fire leaves their longstanding drug store damaged this morning.
The fire closed the pharmacy and four other businesses on Broadway.
After nearly 100 years in business, Palace Drug Store is closed. But not because of a lack of customers, rather the result of a fire.
“There have been a lot of people coming here trying to get prescriptions done,” said Cleveland Fire Safety Officer Terry Dennis.
Dennis and his Cleveland firefighters responded to the strip mall off North Broadway Street around 4:30 a.m.
A fire he believes began in the drug store’s kitchen before spreading to the other four businesses.
“This location, all have received some sort of damage either smoke or water,” said Dennis.
But he says Palace Drug sustained the worst of it.
The damage was so bad the store had to close its doors.
“But it will be at least a minimum of a week before we can be open for business again,” said Palace owner Gary Moore.
Moore owns the drug store along with its neighbor, Moore Health Care.
Fulfilling the needs of his customers is troubling him more than the damage to this building.
“There’s so many different things involved with a pharmacy,” said Moore.
In fact, Moore says Palace is the oldest retail store in town still in business and the only locally owned pharmacy.
With longtime customers and employees, like Billie Slamans, a manager at Palace, still at a loss for words.
“It’s really difficult to see them have to go through all of this,” said Slamans.
While it’s still unclear how the fire started, Slamans is comforted by those in the community lending their hands during this difficult time.
“It could have been a lot worse, we still have a structure we just gotta do some cleaning rearranging and I think we’ll be back to good,” said Slamans.
Positive thoughts in the midst of an uncertain future.
Even though the drugs were not damaged in the fire, store employees believe they may have to still be thrown out.
The store cannot operate as a pharmacy until [they] get the okay from the state board.
Two laptops containing personal information of Hong Kong’s 3.7 million registered voters have been stolen.
They were reportedly stolen from a locked room on Lantau Island, off the main Hong Kong island. The room was a designated backup venue for the chief executive elections held over the weekend.
The stolen data included names, addresses and identity card numbers of voters, the office said in a statement.
Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner for personal data said in a statement that it had been notified of what happened, and added that it will launch a “routine probe” into the issue. Police also said that they are treating the case as theft, but no arrests have been made so far.
The latest Data bReach Index (BLI) report identifies a significant shift in cyber attacks focus which are targeting large consumer databases such as social media, entertainment and email websites. The new BLI report and infographic highlight this change, citing almost 1.4 billion compromised records in 2016, up 86% from 2015. AdultFriend Finder, Fling, DailyMotion and 17Media – all large database attacks made the short list of the top scoring breaches in 2016 based on the BLI’s scoring model.
Half of the businesses in a town hit by a huge suspected gas explosion are “out of action” and “some may never reopen”, a residents’ group has claimed.
Thirty businesses cannot trade because of collapsed or damaged buildings, New Ferry’s Residents’ Association said.
Ann Grimes, 44, who has run the Cleveland pub for three years, said: “I don’t have insurance to cover wages or losses.
“I don’t think the traders can come back from this. If that building comes down I have no livelihood, nothing