Counter-terrorism police are investigating an explosion at a hospital which killed one person and injured another.

Merseyside Police were called to reports of a blast involving a vehicle – believed to be a taxi – at Liverpool Women’s Hospital at 10.59am on Sunday.

Officers along with crews from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and the North West Regional Ambulance Service attended the city centre site.

One person died while a male casualty was taken to hospital to be treated for injuries that are not life-threatening.

Police say it has not been declared a terrorist incident but counter terrorism officers are leading the investigation “out of caution”.

A statement from Merseyside Police said: “Unfortunately, we can confirm that one person has died and another has been taken to hospital where he is being treated for his injuries, which thankfully are not life threatening.

“So far we understand that the car involved was a taxi which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred.

“Work is still going on to establish what has happened, and could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything.

“We are keeping an open mind as to what caused the explosion but given how it has happened, out of caution, Counter Terrorism Police are leading the investigation supported by Merseyside Police.”

Visiting access restricted

In a statement, Liverpool Women’s Hospital said visiting access had been restricted “until further notice” and patients had been diverted to other hospitals “where possible”.

The statement said: “We have restricted visiting access to the hospital with immediate effect and until further notice.

“Where possible we have diverted patients to other hospitals until further notice. We are currently allowing ambulances to access the hospital in emergencies.

“We are reviewing our patient activity for the next 24-48 hours and patients should wait to be contacted for updates about any planned appointments or other attendance at the hospital.

“Our staff are being permitted to leave and enter the hospital under the supervision of Merseyside Police.

“We would like to say thank you for the co-operation and support of our patients, visitors and staff who have been impacted by this incident, in particular those members of staff who were at the scene at the time of the incident.

“We will be ensuring that anyone affected by this has the appropriate support in place.”

Ambulance service responds

In a statement, North West Ambulance Service said: “At 10.59am today we were called to reports of a car explosion @LiverpoolWomens. We were on scene by 11.04am.

“One person has died and another person was treated for serious but not life-threatening injuries, before being taken to hospital. Follow @MerseyPolice for more.

“Patients and visitors of @LiverpoolWomens are advised to visit for the most up to date information.

“Our thoughts are with all affected.”

Home Secretary speaks

The Home Secretary said she is “being kept regularly updated” on the car explosion in Liverpool.

Priti Patel tweeted: “I am being kept regularly updated on the awful incident at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

“Our police and emergency services are working hard to establish what happened and it is right they are given the time and space to do so.”