A CASH machine has exploded in Southampton.

Firefighters from Hightown and St Mary's Fire Stations rushed to the incident in Station Road, Sholing, last night.

The free-standing cash machine, which is next to the Best One store, exploded around 1.50am.

One resident, who lives nearly two miles away from the site of the explosion, said: "Everyone from Sholing, Peartree and Thornhill must have heard the explosion.

"It sounded like a gunshot.

"It woke both me and my daughter up."

A spokesperson for Hampshire Fire and Rescue said police were investigating the explosion.

The spokesperson said the fire may have been started by people attempting to get into the machine.

A spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary said: "We were called at 1.55am today on Wednesday 14 August to a report of theft of cash from an ATM on Station Road in Sholing, Southampton.

"Officers deployed to the area and found the cash machine had been damaged and the cash contents had been stolen.

"Several members of the public called in and reported hearing an explosion at the time of the incident.

"Officers are at the scene today carrying out enquiries.

"Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote 44190287362."