Didcot attack scene smell may be solvent

Park Close, Didcot
Image caption Neighbouring properties were not evacuated but residents were told to stay inside

A chemical smell, which prompted the closure of an Oxfordshire road where a man was discovered with head injuries, may have been disc brake cleaner.

Officers were called to Park Close, Didcot, early on Wednesday where a 51-year-old man had been attacked.

The road was closed amid fears of an explosion when officers noticed a petrol-like smell at the property.

Thames Valley Police said there was nothing to suggest the solvent smell was linked to the attack.

The injured man remains in a critical condition in Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Det Insp John Turner of Thames Valley Police said: "We have also been working closely with the fire service to find the cause of the smell that was in the area at the time and at this stage we believe this to be from an industrial solvent, likely to be disc brake cleaner.

"There is also nothing to suggest that this solvent is relevant to our ongoing investigation at this time.

"I am still keen to speak to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the area or who has any information which may help officers with our inquiry."

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