THE main road through the Cordoban town of Rute was closed to traffic yesterday as police and firefighters tackled a lethal gas explosion in a top floor apartment.

Emergency services were called at around 11.30am after a loud explosion rocked residents on Avenida Blas Infante in the centre of Rute.

Firefighters from the Lucena-Cabra fire station, as well as Guardia Civil Policia Local and Proteccion Civil attended the scene with reports that there was a man inside severely injured.

According to residents reports, debris flew across the street including parts of the buildings facade and window blinds and glass.

Once the fire was brought under control, emergency services confirmed that the man suspected to be inside the apartment had been killed.

Firefighters at the scene of the explosion close to the Guardia Civil headquarters (Radio Rute)

He was identified as a 51-year-old local man with the initials AMA and is well known in the town.

The other residents in the apartment block were unharmed and police and structural inspectors checked the building for damage due to the force of the explosion, however it appears the damage was localised to the single apartment.

According to sources close to the Olive Press, it is alleged that the explosion was a deliberate attempt by the man to end his own life, with the man contacting the police beforehand to warn of is actions.

The main access road to Rute was closed for the majority of the day whilst police contained the fire and cleared the damage but was reopened later that afternoon to traffic.

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