Manhunt after Sydney blasts

A manhunt is under way after explosions rocked a street in Sydney's inner-west, forcing the evacuation of local residents and bringing peak-hour traffic and the light rail system to a halt.

Emergency services raced to Wentworth Park Road in Glebe just after 5pm (AEST) on Wednesday after reports of an explosion and fire at a public housing apartment block.

Firefighters got the blaze under control and found items of concern that are believed to be linked to the blast.

Police were examining whether the apartment, next to Wentworth Park, was being used as a drugs laboratory or a possible home-made bomb factory.

Bomb squad officers removed gas bottles from the apartment, but it remains unclear precisely what caused the explosions.

Witnesses also described seeing a man fleeing the building seconds before the blasts.

Police are now searching for the 32-year-old male resident of the unit.

Inspector Gary Coffey urged the suspect to hand himself in.

"As a result of this incident many people have been inconvenienced and I particularly thank the other residents and neighbours for their patience and cooperation," he added.

"We are currently following several lines of inquiry to locate the resident of the unit."

Dozens of residents were evacuated from nearby homes but were allowed back in about an hour after the blasts.

Roads around the apartment block were closed and the light rail system, which crosses Wentworth Park, was shut down for a brief period.

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