Residents rocked by a horror explosion in Ayr tonight have been hailed for pulling together in the face of adversity.

Hundreds of people affected by the blast in Kincaidston are bunking down at makeshift shelters at nearby Queen Margaret Academy and Kincaidston Community Pavilion.

And the neighbourhood has been praised for uniting in its hour of need as volunteers rally round to help those displaced from their homes.

Robert Dunn, treasurer of the community pavilion, revealed: "Councillor Chris Cullen phoned and asked if we could open as a place of refuge and the response has been magnificent.

"People have been dropping off food and blankets and we're cooking stuff donated by the local shops and even those as far afield as Alloway.

"What's happened tonight is a horrible disaster but the community has shown amazing strength in rallying round.

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"People will just take folk in if they have to, that's what folk are like here.

"I was out my back door when I heard the explosion happen and it's hard to describe.

"The shockwave that came from it was phenomenal — folk were feeling it far and wide.

The blast ripped through Kincaidston tonight
The blast ripped through Kincaidston tonight

"It is like a warzone out there and there are probably 100 houses in total affected by this.

"We'll be open for as long as it takes and do whatever it takes to help people in need."

Three people were rushed to Crosshouse Hospital following the blast which happened around 7.30pm this evening in Gorse Park.

Up to 50 emergency response units remain on scene with a 200 metre perimeter set up around the scene of the blast.

Police have told stricken residents they will be unable to return home tonight.

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