A LOUD explosion shocked a sleeping Hampshire neighbourhood when a speed camera was blown up in the middle of the night.

Weary-eyed residents in Eastleigh rushed to their windows at 2.30am to find the camera in Bishopstoke Road surrounded by a cloud of smoke Police and firefighters raced to the scene fearing that the explosion had come from the nearby Jet petrol station, but on arrival they found the fixed camera had been blown to pieces.

The force of the explosion sent the grey camera lens flying down the road, landing in front of the block of flats where Tina McCarthy lives.

She and her neighbours were woken up by the loud bang generated by the blast, which caused a cloud of white smoke to rise from the device.

Tina, of Bishopstoke Road, said: “It was a real shock, I couldn’t believe it. This massive explosion woke me up and when I looked outside I could see all this smoke coming from the speed camera.

“During the evening I had heard thunder and lighting but this was so much louder, at first I thought someone must have shot at it, but there were no bullet holes.

“It’s quite worrying to think that there is someone going around with these type of explosive devices and being able to plant them so close to our homes.”

Police confirmed they have launched an investigation into what they believe was some kind of explosion but are not aware of any other cameras in the area being targeted.

Acting Chief Inspector Kelly Whiting added: “This is totally irresponsible behaviour by whoever committed this offence.

“There could have been a potential risk to passers by, although this was minimised due to the time of the incident.

“However there was a potential risk to the nearby petrol station which could have had serious consequences.”

● Anyone with information about the incident should call Eastleigh police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.