LONDON, Dec 10 (Reuters) – Three people were killed and about 12 others are missing after an early Saturday morning explosion ripped through a block of flats on the island of Jersey off the coast of northern France.
“Right now we’re sorry, there are three deaths,” Jersey State Police Chief Robin Smith said at a news conference.
The explosion occurred shortly before 0400 GMT and the fire was extinguished. Emergency services will continue to search for survivors throughout the night, Smith said.
He confirmed fire services were called to the home on Friday evening before the explosion, after residents reported smelling gas. He did not comment on the cause of the explosion, saying it was under investigation.
Smith said the three-storey building, located near the harbor in the island’s capital, St Helier, had completely collapsed.
He said 20 to 30 people were evacuated and two “walking wounded” were treated in hospital.
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency with a population of over 100,000.
Statement by William James; Additional reporting by Kate Holden; Editing by Alex Richardson and Clelia Ozill
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