Horror as cash machine explosion rocks North East town

Houses shook and people were left shocked when a cash machine exploded in a North East town.

Police are investigating suspicions that raiders used an explosion to gain access to a cash machine in Darlington

The scene after a suspected explosive attack on a cash machine at the Matalan store in Darlington Picture by Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire

The scene after a suspected explosive attack on a cash machine at the Matalan store in Darlington Picture by Tom Wilkinson/PA Wire

Acting Inspector John Hoar from Durham Constabulary, said: “The suspects have used an explosive device causing significant damage to the cash machine.

“It is not yet known if the suspects managed to get away with any cash as investigations are in the early stages. A cordon will remain while we conduct our enquiries.

“We would like to reassure local residents that this is a targeted isolated incident. We would encourage anyone who saw any suspicious activity or was in the area at the time to get in touch.”

Residents described feeling their houses shake after a suspected explosive attack on a cash machine.

The scene of the cash machine explosion in Darlington. Picture by Harry Chown/PA Wire

The scene of the cash machine explosion in Darlington. Picture by Harry Chown/PA Wire

Some said they felt the blast "over two miles away" from the Matalan store where an explosion "flattened trees and signs and scattered debris everywhere".

Images posted on social media showed what appeared to be the obliterated kiosk in front of the clothing and homewear shop.

Police reassured people in the area that the incident was not terror-related, although witnesses were left in shock at the apparent power of the blast.

Resident Harry Chown, 28, said he was woken at around 1am by a "violent explosion which shook my house".

The scene of the cash machine explosion in Darlington. Picture by Harry Chown/PA Wire

The scene of the cash machine explosion in Darlington. Picture by Harry Chown/PA Wire

He added: "It looks like thieves have gone overkill on explosives whilst trying to blow open a standalone ATM.

"It's been obliterated and flattened trees and signs and scattered debris everywhere. Social media suggests people two miles away heard it which explains why my house shook so violently only 150m away."

Mr Chown said the explosion had "shoved" the kiosk containing the ATM "10 metres along the carpark".

Locals wrote on social media that they had felt the blast at the store, which is close to the town's train station.

The scene of the cash machine explosion in Darlington. Picture by Harry Chown/PA Wire

The scene of the cash machine explosion in Darlington. Picture by Harry Chown/PA Wire

Kerry Moor wrote on Facebook that she was "over two miles away and our house shook", while James Cummings said: "I live directly across from there and was awake at the time and the shock of the explosion shook my house and knocked me out of my bed."