Nashville explosion: Huge blast rocks major US city – 'Glass and steel everywhere'

Fire crews were called to 166 2nd Avenue North at 6.45am local time. Phil Williams, a reporter with News Channel 5, tweeted: “Nashville police and fire setting up radiation monitors to assess situation in downtown area near explosion site. This is all precautionary at this point.

He subsequently added: “Nashville fire crews being told to back up ANOTHER two blocks from site of explosion in downtown area.

“Concerns: possible vehicle bombs left in area, potential radiation”.

“Once again he emphasised: “All of this is PRECAUTIONARY at this point.”

Mr Williams suggested the source of the explosion had in fact been a parked vehicle, and that Metro Police had identified an extended debris field that stretching approximately two city blocks.

Meanwhile WKRN reporter Elizabeth Lane tweeted: “Lots of first responders headed downtown. Not sure what’s going on.”

Jason Steen, the Editor of @ScoopNash, posted: “Large explosion in downtown Nashville “heavy structural damage”.. evacuting lofts @ 2nd/Commerce – per Nashville Fire radio traffic – some walking out on their own – glass and steel ‘EVERYWHERE’.”

He added: “A structure is on fire downtown – searching for victims ongoing – several people walked out of upper residences on their own.

“Preparing for multi-casualty incident, triage being staged on-site.

“Building is “devastated”, vehicles on road are burning, NFD is about to extinguish them with water from Engine 9 – most human injuries so far are non-life-threatening.”

Mr Steen cited Nashville Fire Department as suggested between 20 and 30 people had been, with most human injuries so far are non-life-threatening.

Several vehicles in the road were also on fire, he added.

He suggested the building had collapsed as a result of the blast, with firefighters haveing retreated from the scene with all personnel accounted for.

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Another added: “We felt it in Mount Juliet.”

An MFD statement said: “There is an incident involving an explosion. This is an active scene.

“Metro Nashville Police Department and Nashville Fire Department are on the scene.

“There are no additional details to provide at this time.”

Metro Nashville Police Department

Nashville, in the US state of Tennessee, is famous for being the centre of the country music scene.