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  1. Updates on Wednesday 6 April 2016
  2. News, sport, travel and weather updates to resume at 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

By Alex Homer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Our live coverage across the day

That's it from Local Live for Birmingham and the Black Country on Wednesday.

Join us from 08:00 on Thursday for more news, sport, travel and weather.

Coming up on TV

Nick Owen

Presenter, BBC Midlands Today

Tonight we will all the latest on the Birmingham house explosion, a recap of all the football from last night and research into how to save our bees. 

Join us for the Midlands Today on BBC One at 18:30.

Travel: M6 southbound delays warning

BBC Travel

One lane is blocked and there is queuing traffic on the M6 southbound between J6 for the Aston Expressway and J5 for Castle Bromwich because of a crash, drivers are warned.

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Sara Thornton

BBC Weather

Continuing to be cold tonight - we could even have some wintery showers around. Lows of 4C (39F).

Find out more about tonight's outlook.

The weather for the West Midlands.

Birmingham house explosion: Cause may not be known for 'some time'

Investigations into the cause of the Birmingham house explosion in Wiggin Street we reported earlier are expected to continue for "some time" according to Dave James from West Midlands Fire and Rescue.

Aston Villa deny reports 'refreshing' its club crest could cost £2m

Relegation-threatened Aston Villa say they are spending less than £80,000 to "refresh" the club's crest.

It was reported changes to the badge - intended to make Villa "more effective in the digital age" - could cost £2m.

The crest will change on their website, retail products, television station, club publications and at their stadium.

Aston Villa club crest
BBC Sport

Three arrested on suspicion of murder after reported stabbing in West Bromwich

A man has died and another has been seriously injured after a reported stabbing at a West Bromwich house this afternoon, police say.

Police were called to Campville Crescent at around 13:50. A man, believed to be in his early 40s, died at the scene, while another man, in his early 20s, was taken to hospital, said the force.

Two men and a woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder.

Latest: Birmingham house explosion; police officer denies terror hoax plot; animal remains dumped

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a recap of the stories we have been running on Wednesday:

- A suspected gas explosion has blown the roof off a house while a man and woman were inside and left the man with serious burns in hospital 

- A police officer and two others have denied plotting to make a 999 call about a bogus plan by terrorists to kidnap another police officer

- Animal remains have been found dumped in plastic bags near Wolverhampton, say police

Foxes and badger found 'dumped' in bags in Staffordshire

Allen Cook

BBC Local Live

The remains of five foxes and a badger have been found dumped in plastic bags in Staffordshire say police. 

Police man collecting bags
Staffordshire Rural Watch

Staffordshire Police say they were called this morning to reports of several dead wild animals being found on Hilton Lane, Essington. 

The badger's being sent for a post-mortem examination to try to find out how it died.

Rowett: 'Logically we have to say that's our opportunity gone' to reach Championship play-offs

Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett speaks to BBC WM after Tuesday's 2-1 defeat by Brighton in the Championship.

Opposition councillors slam Dudley Council bosses after Ofsted rates children's services "inadequate"

Dudley News

Opposition councillors in Dudley have spoken out in horror following the release of a damning new Ofsted report which rates children's services as "inadequate" - today's frontpage.

Dudley News frontpage
Dudley News

PC denies plotting to make a 999 call about a terrorist plot to kidnap colleague

Giles Latcham

BBC Midlands Today

A police officer's gone on trial accused of conspiring to make a bogus 999 call in which it was claimed that radical Muslims planned to kidnap one of his colleagues.

Amar Hussain, 29, from Yardley in Birmingham allegedly made the call to incriminate two members of a religious group against whom he held a grudge. 

He is accused of telling the operator he was part of plot organised by a "potential terrorist" linked to so-called Islamic State, planning to "kidnap a police officer in Birmingham", which the prosecution says caused thousands of officers "significant anxiety and concern". 

Mr Hussain had allegedly fallen out with members of an entirely peaceful Muslim prayer group, Dawat-E-Islami, at whose meetings he hoped to provide security. 

He denies two counts of conspiring to pervert the course of justice. Two other Birmingham men, Adil Bashir, 26, of Small Heath and Muhammad Sheikh, 31, from Bordesley Green, deny the same charges. 

The trial is expected to last a fortnight. 

Latest: Birmingham house explosion; junior doctors strike; fatal Digbeth crash

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

If you are just catching up on Wednesday's news, here are our headlines:

- A suspected gas explosion has blown the roof off a Birmingham home and a man is being treated in hospital with serious burns

- Inpatient operations and outpatient appointments have been cancelled while the junior doctors strike takes place

- A Redditch man has died six days after a crash in Digbeth

Birmingham house explosion: Gas supply cut off to neighbouring houses

This is a bird's eye view of the scene of the earlier explosion in Wiggin Street.

View more on twitter

Birmingham house explosion: First reports said the house's roof had been 'blown off'

West Midlands Fire Service earlier sent 20 firefighters to the scene in Wiggin Street, plus three fire engines, a 4x4 Brigade Response Vehicle and an aerial platform, as well as fire investigators and technical rescue experts.

A spokesman said an initial report "described the roof of the house as having been 'blown off' and that much of the remaining property had been reduced to rubble".

Birmingham house explosion: 'Burnt man ran up the street'

Neighbour Tracy Clayton said: “What happened was the neighbour next door to us who has blown up, he ran out screaming. I think he was on fire or hurt, so he ran up the street - apparently he got to City Hospital.”

Wiggin Street is around half a mile away from the hospital, according to Google Maps.

Birmingham house explosion: Seriously burnt man 'made his own way to hospital'

West Midlands Ambulance service says a woman who is believed to have been in the house, which we have now been told is in Edgbaston, managed to escape the building herself, despite the damage, and was discharged at the scene.

A spokesperson said: "A second patient, a man, who was also believed to have been in the property at the time of the incident had made his own way to City Hospital. The aircrew and critical care paramedic attended the hospital, where the man was being treated for serious burn injuries.

“Due to his condition, the man was conveyed, via land ambulance, to the major trauma centre at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. The trauma doctor travelled on board the ambulance continuing to provide emergency care whilst en route."

Birmingham house explosion: 'Everything fell on top of us'


Tracy Clayton was at home with her husband Bilal Azhar, at Wiggin Street, and told us: "We were at home and we were unpacking our fridge, and as we were doing that we just heard and felt this huge explosion. 

"In our back room - everything fell on top of us. The roof gave in. There was just smoke everywhere, bricks flying.

"I switched my electric off and thought about my cat and did not know where it was, but she was unharmed, thank God."

Ladywood house explosion: Man has serious injuries

The man taken to hospital has serious injuries, police have confirmed.

View more on twitter

Ladywood house explosion: Road sealed off

A hydraulic platform is exploring the scene of a suspected gas explosion in Ladywood. The road, Wiggin Street, has been closed off while investigations continue.

The scene of the blast

Ladywood house explosion: Hoses dousing the top floor

A hose is dousing the top floor of a house badly damaged in a suspected gas explosion in Birmingham - emergency services are at the scene, including the air ambulance, but we are yet to receive official clarification as to whether anyone has been injured.

View more on twitter

More pictures of the Ladywood 'gas explosion'

The fire service has tweeted more pictures of the suspected gas explosion in Ladywood - showing the extent of the damage at the rear of the house.

View more on twitter

One man thought to be in hospital after Ladywood 'gas blast'

Tom Turrell

BBC Midlands Today

I'm at the scene of the suspected gas explosion in Ladywood where one man is thought to be in hospital.

Air ambulance called to Ladywood house blast

The ambulance service confirms crews are at the scene of the suspected gas explosion in Ladywood.

Midlands Air Ambulance is also in attendance.

View more on twitter

Ladywood house blast: Emergency services briefing

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

I've just spoken to West Midlands Fire Service who says a briefing is taking place between emergency service teams after a suspected gas explosion at a house in Ladywood.

A hydraulic platform is being used to view the area. 

A request has been made for a structural engineer from Birmingham City Council to attend.

It is still not clear whether anyone has been injured in the blast.

'Roof missing' after suspected gas explosion in Ladywood

The fire service has tweeted a photo of the back of the house which has been involved in a suspected gas explosion in Ladywood.

The fire service says the roof on the property involved has been partially removed.

View more on twitter

A spokesman for the fire service says the police have been asked to attend the scene.

Firefighters at the scene of suspected 'gas explosion' in Ladywood

Stephanie Barnard

BBC Local Live

Firefighters are tackling a blaze after what is believed to be a suspected gas explosion in Ladywood.

West Midlands Fire Service tell me that they received a 999 call to Wiggin Street at 12:20.

Four fire engines and an aerial platform are at the scene.

It is not yet known whether anyone was in the property or if there are any injuries.

We will bring you more details when we have them.

UPDATE: Possible gas explosion

The fire service has sent four appliances and an aerial platform to the scene.

View more on twitter

Fire service at scene of possible gas explosion

Four fire engines and an aerial platform are at the scene.

View more on twitter

Latest: Court appearance over 'false terrorist kidnap plot'; junior doctors strike; fatal Digbeth crash

Alex Homer

BBC Local Live

Here is a quick recap of the top stories on Wednesday:

- A West Midlands Police officer and two other men are due in court after an investigation into a "false and malicious" claim of a terrorist kidnap plot

- A fourth junior doctors' strike is taking place in their long-running contract dispute

- A Redditch man has died six days after a crash in Digbeth, Birmingham, say police

Impact of the junior doctors strike in Birmingham and the Black Country

Michele Paduano

Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

This was the picket line outside Dudley's Russells Hall Hospital this morning as junior doctors went on strike for the fourth time in their ongoing contract dispute.

A total of 1,290 outpatient appointments have been cancelled today, as well as 50 inpatient operations, across Birmingham and the Black Country.

Picket line

Watch: Latest weather forecast for the West Midlands

Sara Blizzard

BBC Weather

This afternoon there should be quite a few heavy, blustery showers with the chance of some thunder.

Highs of 10C (50F).

Here is some more information on the outlook over the next few hours.

Sara Blizzard with the morning weather forecast for the West Midlands

U-turn urged on plans to change non-urgent surgery

Michele Paduano

Health correspondent, BBC Midlands Today

Planned changes to some non-urgent surgery in Birmingham and the Black Country are under-fire from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS).

The proposals include not giving hip or knee replacements to people under a certain body mass index and only operating on specific hernias. 

The RCS has now written a letter to six Clinical Commissioning Groups - the groups of GPs responsible for commissioning local healthcare services - across the West Midlands, urging them to reconsider. 

Football: Wolves come from behind to beat MK Dons

BBC Sport

Goals from George Saville and Jack Price saw Wolves come from behind to beat MK Dons and increase the hosts' Championship relegation worries.  

George Saville

Pay £400 or walk! Village fury over school bus cuts

Tamworth Herald

Angry parents in a village near Tamworth have vowed to fight council plans to make their children walk a five-mile-round trip to school – or pay almost £400 bus fare.

Tamworth Herald

Carer jailed after stealing £20,400 from the woman she was meant to look after

A carer who stole £20,400 from the 87-year-old woman she was meant to be looking after has been jailed for two years.

The family of the victim, from Castle Vale, contacted officers after they found out £12,000 had been taken out of her account in cash, said West Midlands Police.

Rachael Robinson
West Midlands Police
Rachael Robinson
West Midlands Police

The force said its investigations later revealed carer Rachael Robinson, 30, from Davenport Drive, was captured on camera making withdrawals at various Post Offices on 5, 12, 15 and 17 July 2015.  

Football: Blues' Championship play-off hopes all but over

BBC Sport

Brighton kept the pressure on their Championship automatic promotion rivals with a narrow victory at Birmingham, whose hopes of a play-off place are all but ended.  

Redditch man dies six days after Digbeth crash, say police

A Redditch man has died six days after a crash in Digbeth, say West Midlands Police.

Nadeem Asghar, who was 31, was behind the wheel of a white Nissan Qashqai which collided with a red Toyota Corolla. He was taken to hospital but later died.

Nadeem Asghar
West Midlands Police

The collision happened just after 23:00 on Friday, 25 March, at the junction of Alcester Street and Bradford Street.  

Police are appealing for information.

Travel: Halesowen delays warning

BBC Travel

The Queensway in Halesowen is just passable at its junction with Hagley Road because of a crash on the roundabout.

View more on twitter

Fourth junior doctors' strike hits NHS

Nick Triggle

Health Correspondent

Junior doctors in England are taking part in a fourth walkout in their long-running contract dispute.

The 48-hour strike started at 08:00 as the doctors prepare legal challenges to the government's decision to impose changes to their pay and conditions from this summer.

Striking people

Doctors are again providing emergency cover, but 5,000 operations and procedures have been postponed.

NHS England said the continued disruption was "deeply regrettable".