A pair of “brazen” bank robbers sparked a gas explosion during an early morning raid today.

Detectives are hunting the thieves who fled the scene of the attempted Barclays bank heist, in Station Approach, Gerrards Cross, empty-handed.

At around 3.20am, the criminals pumped gas into the ATM at the bank, before igniting it and causing an explosion which caused significant damage to the ATM and the interior of the bank.

Being unable to access any cash, they then smashed a window and gained access to the bank, where they tried to force open the ATM cash safe door.

They were unsuccessful and climbed back out of the window and fled the scene.

The offenders were both male with their faces covered, and they were wearing dark clothing.

Investigating officer PC Paul Bridgeworth of the investigation hub based at Amersham police station said: "This was a completely brazen attempt at stealing cash from the bank, and although the offenders were unsuccessful, they have caused considerable damage.

"It was the middle of the night, and so unfortunately the description of the offenders is vague, but I am appealing to anybody who was in the area of Station Approach at around 3.20am and who may have witnessed the offence to call 101, quoting reference number 43180222593.

"Alternatively, you can visit https://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/ and provide all the details here.

"We are investigating this offence thoroughly, including making house to house enquiries, and you may continue to notice an increased police presence while we continue investigate."