At least one house has been completely destroyed by a huge explosion in Ayr that saw four people taken to hospital.
Drone footage taken on Tuesday morning showed extensive damage to properties in the town’s Gorse Park following the blast on Monday night, which was heard for miles around.
Two adults and two children are receiving treatment at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.
Residents have been evacuated from part of the Kincaidston area of Ayr and two rest centres have been set up to assist those affected.
Councillor Chris Cullen from South Ayrshire Council said: “It’s absolutely devastating what’s happened, it’s not something you expect.
“You come home, you cook your tea and next thing ‘boom’ there’s an explosion beside you. There’s a lot of people who are just totally shook, didn’t know what was happening.”
Emergency services were called to the scene on Gorse Park at around 7.10pm, police said, adding that local road closures were in place and the public were advised to avoid the area.
‘You come home, you cook your tea and next thing ‘boom’ there’s an explosion beside you.’Councillor Chris Cullen
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Ambulance Service said: “We dispatched a number of resources to the scene, including three specialist operations vehicles, six ambulances and an air ambulance.”
Euan Bryson, who lives in the adjacent housing estate, tweeted a video showing a fire engine on a smoke-filled street in the aftermath of the explosion.
He said: “Was chaotic. There was personal property and rubble all over the scene.
“The video below doesn’t even do the smoke justice. Could scarcely make out peoples’ faces.”
Another resident told STV News: “It was like an earthquake. I thought (my wife) was up the stairs and thought she fell and the next door neighbour said it was an explosion
Gas distribution company SGN was helping emergency services.
A spokesman said: “Our engineers are currently assisting the emergency services to ensure the immediate vicinity is made safe in our role as the gas emergency service.”
The fire service said there were still two appliances at the scene at 10.30am on Tuesday morning.
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service area commander Ian McMeekin, the local senior officer for East, North and South Ayrshire, said: “Our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected by this incident.
“This has been an extremely complex and challenging incident which significantly damaged multiple properties in the area and resulted in the evacuation of other nearby homes. We will remain in attendance for some time as we work with our partners to ensure the area is safe.
“A joint investigation alongside Police Scotland will be carried out in due course to establish the full facts and circumstances.”
Siobhian Brown, the MSP for Ayr, Prestwick and Troon, urged people to avoid the area.
On her Facebook page, she wrote: “Our thoughts are with those affected in the Kincaidston area as we hear reports of an explosion.
“Please avoid the area if you can and let the emergency services do their jobs.”