Two people were found dead after a suspected gas explosion ripped through a shop in west London this morning.
Firefighters confirmed that two people were killed when the 6:30 a.m. blast destroyed the phone shop and hairdressing salon in Ealing, but did not provide any further details about the victims.
Shocked neighbors described being woken by a "giant bang" as the terrible explosion rocked their homes.
Cell phone shop owner Jatinder Singh, 36, received the devastating news from a neighbor before going on the scene.
"It's an absolute mess," Mr Singh told the Standard.
Around 40 firefighters, drafted from five nearby stations, ran into the street and evacuated 14 adults and two children from the surrounding properties.
Specialized search and rescue teams using sniffer dogs carefully sifted through the rubble this afternoon after the explosion collapsed parts of the building.
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Two people were found dead after a suspected gas explosion ripped through a shop in west London this morning
Station commander Paul Morgan said, “Our crews have searched the property with special equipment, including the use of a USAR dog. We can confirm that unfortunately two people died at the scene.
“It was a tedious and protracted incident, with firefighters working systematically to stabilize the building and look for people involved. Operations have been completed for the evening and will resume in the morning.
& # 39; The explosion caused significant business and structural damage.
In the initial stages, firefighters rescued four adults and one child at the back of the property with a ladder.
"Another fourteen adults and two children were evacuated from the surrounding properties themselves."
Locals told MailOnline that about 21 people were accommodated in up to eight rooms on the two floors above the hairdressing salon.
Emergency services at the site of a suspected gas explosion on King Street in Ealing, West London. Rescue workers are involved in a “complex” search for people who may still be in the collapsed building
Nurmila Hamid, 38, said she felt the explosion as she got her children ready for school.
She said, & # 39; The house was shaking, and I turned to my husband and said, "What is this?"
"And he said 'it's a great time' and went to take the kids to school – he said it was in a phone shop."
Mohammad Rafiq, 78, said he and his 76-year-old wife felt "shocked" and "scared" when the noise of the King Street explosion woke them to their home.
"I heard it in the morning – it woke me up, it was scary," said Mr Rafiq, who lives two streets away.
& # 39; It sounded like a very dangerous explosion so I was scared. After that we didn't sleep. & # 39;
Police have cordoned off both ends of King Street while emergency teams are working to rescue any other people who may be in the shop and surrounding buildings.
The Ealing Council confirmed that the cordon would remain in place overnight and residents must be taken to their properties.
First, there were reports of an injured man and a child rescued from the suspected gas explosion.
Previously, a child and four adults were rescued from the back of the store using a ladder while more than a dozen people were evacuated from neighboring buildings
The explosion occurred around 6:20 a.m. this morning at a barber and phone shop on King Street, Ealing
The fire department continues to search the property with specialized equipment, including the use of dogs
Video footage of the explosion was posted on social media showing firefighters climbing into the building to evacuate a person trapped in a top floor apartment.
Rescue workers were involved in a "complex" and "careful" operation as they continued to search for anyone who may still be inside after the incident on Wednesday.
Mr Singh told the Standard: “I'm not sure what happened, I'm shocked. My landlord is here now and looks like he's in shock too. I don't know if anyone was hurt or who lived upstairs. I lost too much there. & # 39;
Cell phone shop owner Jatinder Singh, 36, received the devastating news from a neighbor before going on the scene
In the initial stages, firefighters rescued four adults and one child with a ladder from the back of the property
Firefighters work systematically to protect the building from another collapse and to search for those involved
He added, “I locked my shop last night as usual and didn't think anything was wrong. Then I got a call from a neighbor to come down here that my shop was totally destroyed.
“I'm fine, I'm not injured. The police have a special team of dogs and keep everyone away. & # 39;
Fire investigators cordoned off the King Street area when they begin piecing together what happened.
A local business owner said, “There was a huge bang like an explosion. My shop was shaking. We hear that there are injuries … it is a shock to all of us. & # 39;
Another said, “We were told a gas canister exploded. There are police and fire departments everywhere. We hope everyone we know is okay. It's a very close community. & # 39;
When conducting their investigation, the London Fire Brigade said the building had structurally collapsed and an apartment business was involved above it.
The arduous task of finding fatalities continues after the suspected gas explosion in Ealing this morning
The station commander at the scene, Alan Brand, said: “Four adults and one child were rescued by fire fighters with a ladder at the back of the property.
Another fourteen adults and two children were evacuated from the surrounding properties themselves. Specialists search the building for other people who may be involved.
"This is an ongoing operation and I would ask people to avoid the area if possible."
Around 40 firefighters from the Southall, Hayes, Heston, Ealing and Feltham fire stations are on site.
Earlier, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said they would not treat the explosion as a suspect.
He added, “A store was found to have had a major explosion. One man was found injured. Road closures have been introduced and local residents have been evacuated. & # 39;
"At this early stage it is believed to be a gas explosion and is not being treated as a suspect."
A spokesman said the store's windows were "blown out completely" in the incident.