Four people have been taken to hospital following an explosion in an Ayr housing estate last night.

Police Scotland has this morning issued an update on events in the wake of the blast in Kincaidston's Gorse Park.

Four properties have been affected by the disaster with pictures showing at least one of the houses reduced to rubble. Flying debris damaged cars parked in the street.

An investigation into what caused the explosion is underway with engineers from SGN spotted arriving in the area.

Police are asking people to stay away from the scene as they make enquiries.

In its latest statement, Police Scotland said: "Around 7.10pm on Monday, October 18, emergency services were called to a report of an explosion on Gorse Park, Ayr.

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"Four houses have been affected by the explosion.

"Two adults and two children have been taken to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

"A number of premises have been evacuated and two local rest centres have been set up to assist.

"Emergency services are currently at the scene working with other agencies.

"Enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the explosion.

"Local road closures are in place and we would advise people to avoid the area at the present time."

Multiple vehicles from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland and the Scottish Ambulance Service raced to the scene after being alerted to the blast which was heard and felt for miles around. Air ambulances were also sent to assist.

Mum-of-two Alice Short, 33, told how the chaotic scenes on the estate were like 'ground zero'.

Alice told Ayrshire Live: "It sounded like a bomb went off. Our entire house shook and everything from the television to pictures came off the wall.

"The scene is like something from ground zero. It is terrifying."

Nearby residents were evacuated with shelter and support being offered at a number of places including the Queen Margaret Academy, Kincaidston Community Centre and Ayr St Columba Church.

Offers of assistance have flooded in from people and businesses as the Kincaidston community and those from outwith the area rally round those affected by the explosion.

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