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Post office blown up by cash machine raiders

A SHOPFRONT was destroyed in a ‘terrifying’ blast after thieves attempted to steal a cash machine.

Derbyshire Police said they had been called to reports of an explosion at the Post Office in Chapel Street, in the Spondon area of Derby, at about 4.45am this morning.

Debris, including the shop’s front door, had been thrown across the pavement and the ATM had been moved about a foot by the force of the blast.

Debris: The post office in Spondon, Derbyshire

Kev Woolley, who lives above the Post Office, told the BBC he was startled awake by a ‘subsonic bang… like the loudest bang on firework night, times 100’.

He is currently waiting to see whether it is safe to return to his property after the blast which rocked his flat, causing units and cabinets to topple over.

Remains: The scene this morning after the explosion

And local resident Rosie Flower posted on Facebook: ‘It was terrifying to hear.’

Despite the explosion, nobody was hurt, police added.

In a statement, the force said: ‘Officers were called to the Post Office on Chapel Street in Spondon this morning, to reports of an explosion.

‘On arrival it was found that an attempt to steal the ATM machine had been made. Inquiries are still in the early stages.

‘Anyone with information relating to the incident is asked to contact us on 101 quoting incident number 86 of October 22.’

The Post Office confirmed no members of staff were inside the shop at the time.

Devastated: Post office owner Sandeep Sarda

Postmaster Sandeep Sarda condemned the plot as ‘disgraceful’ and said it could pose problems in the run-up to Christmas.

He said: ‘I’m extremely annoyed and quite devastated, it does mean we have to close for a number of days until the Post Office have been in.

‘As you can imagine, (the culprits) have been rather heavy-handed and until we can assess the damage, I won’t be able to comment any further.’

He added: ‘Absolutely disgraceful, absolutely disgraceful. There are livelihoods that depend on it, a number of staff members work here, unfortunately I’ve had to simply ask them to go back home.

‘We are the only Post Office in the community and of course pensioners, young mothers, all sorts of customers get affected.

‘It’s a huge loss to me. There is a lot of Post Office money in there, there is my stock in there, coming up to Christmas is not the best of times.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.