Five held over blast at former bank premises

Five held over blast at former bank premises

FIVE men have been arrested following a huge explosion at a building in Batley last February.

Mystery has surrounded the blast for months, with police remaining tight-lipped about the incident at the two-storey former HSBC premises on Hick Lane.

Six people aged between 35 and 39 suffered severe burns and were treated in hospital after the explosion and fire, which left the building in ruins. Nearby properties were also damaged.

The Grade II-listed mid-19th century building had been converted into flats after several years of use as a nightclub.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman this week confirmed: “Enquiries are ongoing. Five men aged between 36 and 40 were arrested on suspicion of arson and drugs offences in connection with the incident and are currently on bail.”

At the time of the explosion, sources told The Press that it was linked to a drugs factory being operated from the property.

A large number of small flammable gas cylinders were discovered inside a flat in the building.

But a fire service report concluded: “The cause of the fire was thought to be accidental.”

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