A rural Post Office’s shop front was destroyed in an early hours explosion that appears to have been designed to break into its cash point machine.
An undisclosed amount of money was taken in the raid in the quiet village of Long Ashton near Bristol, and people living in the flat above the Post Office had to be evacuated because of the resulting fire. The owners of the business were away on holiday at the time of the incident.
Burglars using explosives are a rare phenomenon, but make sure your business insurance covers you for damage to your building as well as its contents. In addition to replacing goods, businesses also need to think about the right level of coverage for their bricks and mortar premises.
The Long Ashton Post Office blast shocked residents in the village, according to the Daily Express. Neighbour Jamie Flint told the paper: "I could see the glow of the flames from my house.
"It is a quiet village - for something that's so extreme to happen here - I have never seen explosions of that magnitude. For it to happen in this village is quite worrying."
The force of the explosion was sufficient to wreck the shop front but the door of the building was still in place after the blast. Fire crews were called to deal with the resulting blaze and afterwards, local people rallied around to clean up the broken glass from the shop frontage.
Police have arrested three men in connection with the incident, who are being questioned on suspicion of causing an explosion with intent to endanger life and burglary.
A police spokesman said: "A quantity of cash was taken during the incident that we don't believe has been recovered. We are currently reviewing CCTV footage and crime scene investigators are forensically examining the scene."