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Preparation of drug 'possible cause' of explosion at Hornchurch flats

PUBLISHED: 12:36 24 January 2017 | UPDATED: 12:39 24 January 2017

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at the flats in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

Emergency services at the scene of an explosion at the flats in Hornchurch. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

PA Wire/PA Images/Victoria Jones

Police have confirmed that a possible cause of the explosion yesterday was the ‘preparation of a type of drug’ in the flats.

Officers were reported to Bridge Point, the 41 block of flats, in Southend Arterial Road, near the junction with Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, at 5.14pm after a loud “bang” was heard.

A police spokeswoman told the Recorder that a cannabis factory is not believed to be the cause at this stage.

Two men were arrested last night on suspicion of arson after they were taken to hospital for treatment as well as two other people.

Swan Housing Association which operates the flats, released this statement: “We are working closely with emergency services to support their immediate response to this incident and their investigation into the cause of it.

“Our housing teams are currently in the process of contacting all affected residents on an individual basis to make arrangements for their temporary accommodation and to assess what other support that they may require.

“Although we are unable to provide further comment while current investigations are carried out, we would like to stress that Swan takes the safety of our residents extremely seriously and will continue to keep them updated on the incident as matters develop.”

Swan Housing Association asks affected residents who wish to speak to their staff about their circumstances to call 0300 303 2500.

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