POLICE will not be able to speak to an alleged pipe bomber until he is assessed by doctors on Monday.

Martin Middleton suffered serious injuries to his hand following the explosion in Harwood last Sunday afternoon.

He has been in hospital since then and is believed to have lost some fingers.

Mr Middleton, who is believed to have been making a pipe bomb, has had surgery on his hand and remains in hospital.

The 26-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of causing an explosion likely to endanger life or property and will be assessed again by doctors on Monday.

It is hoped officers will then be able to question him.

Police are also assuring people the explosion was an “isolated incident”, stressing that there is no wider threat to the public.

But Claire Lucas, coowner of the Latino Lounge restaurant in Bradshaw Brow, where Mr Middleton ran to after fleeing his home in Lea Gate following the explosion, says more than 10 reservations have been cancelled because of the incident.

The 50-year-old says the restaurant has been quieter than at any time in the last five years.

She added: “People have been ringing up and cancelling and said that it is because of what happened.

“People seem to think that there was a bomb here, or that he ran in with a bomb, but I keep stressing to people Latino Lounge has nothing to do with it.”

Forty houses had to be evacuated in Lea Gate and the road was closed when the incident happened.

Police searched two other properties in Tonge Moor as part of the investigation but no explosive items were found.

Officers are appealing for anyone with information to contact them.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800- 555111.