A massive blaze in a carpark described by firefighters as one of the worst they had dealt with has destroyed 1,400 vehicles.

So far there are no reports of injuries from the blaze at King's Dock, next to the Liverpool Echo Arena but people have been urged to stay away from the area.

The fire was first reported at about 4.40pm on New Year's Eve and firefighters arrived at the scene aboard 12 fire engines, working for hours over the night to try to tackle the blaze.

There were explosions and flames up the outside of the building as the cars inside burned.

A spokeswoman for the Echo Arena said that the Liverpool International Horse Show, which had been running at the venue since 28 December, was cancelled because of the fire. None of the animals were hurt.

A spokeswoman for Mersey Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze started on level three of the seven-storey car park although a cause is not yet known.

Merseyside Police said that fire appeared to be an accident.

"Initial investigations indicate that an accidental fire within a vehicle caused other cars to ignite. We believe that all vehicles parked in the car park have been destroyed," it said in a statement.

Liverpool's mayor, Joe Anderson, said the fire started in a Land Rover and police believe this caused other vehicles to ignite. A reception centre has been set up for people who are unable to get home.

Liverpool fire
Cars are seen on fire during a serious blaze in a multi-storey car park in Liverpool, on 31 December. Reuters