02/08/2007

Police Officers Injured In Fatal Van Explosion

Five police officers were injured and the driver of a suspicious van was killed when it exploded in Merseyside on Wednesday night.

Merseyside Police said that the incident happened just before 10pm. Officers had been in "slow pursuit" of the van, which exploded and caught fire when it stopped in St James Place, off Park Road just outside Liverpool city centre.

The driver of the van was taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries and later died.

Five police officers were also injured. One received minor injuries, while another had injuries, which were described as "significant". However, the three other officers suffered serious injuries and have been kept in hospital.

Both Merseyside Police and the Fire and Rescue Service have launched an investigation into the incident.

Officers said that although it was too early to rule out anything regarding the cause of the explosion, they said it has been confirmed that there were no explosive devices in the van. However, they have confirmed that gas cylinders were in the van.

The matter has also been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

(KMcA/SP)

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