Several vehicles are in flames in the centre of Milan in northern Italy after a van carrying gas cylinders mysteriously exploded.
Local police said the van had caught fire, while local reports said that four people had been injured in the blast.
SkyTG24 broadcast footage from the Milan’s Porta Romana neighborhood, showing high plumes of black smoke rising between buildings, and firefighters on the scene.
Mobile phone footage from the street showed several cars in flames, as well as what appeared to be a scooter and nearby buildings. The wreckage of one vehicle appeared to be in the centre of the narrow one-way road.
No further details were immediately available.
The explosion occurred at around 11.30am local time on street via Pier Lombardo in the city’s Porta Romana, south-east of the city’s centre and close to one of the city’s train stations. The city is home to 1.3 million people.
Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera reported that the van was likely en-route to the nearby Italian Auxological Institute.
Witnesses reported seeing the van catch fire, before a huge explosion.
The publication said in addition to the van, four other cars – as well as a nearby pharmacy and an apartment building – all caught fire.
Ambulances and firefighters rushed to the scene, while the carabinieri – the police – cordoned off the area.
A nearby nursery school and one apartment building has been evacuated.
The blast came the morning after a huge Champions League semi final clash between two football clubs based in the city – Inter Milan and AC Milan.
The two clubs share a stadium and an intense, historic rivalry. There is no suggestion that the blast was connected to the match.