New Delhi: Three people are dead and several are missing on Saturday morning after an explosion toppled an apartment building on the island of Jersey, off the coast of northern France.
The explosion occurred due to a suspected gas leak at 4 am (0400 GMT) in the Channel Island port capital of St Helier, the Reuters news agency reported.
CCTV footage captured a fireball rising towards the top, followed by thick smoke.
Alleged images appeared on social media.
One dead, dozens missing after a residential building explosion on the British autonomous island of Jersey. One person was killed and several others were missing after a devastating explosion on Saturday at an apartment block in the Jersey capital St Helier, police on Channel Island said. pic.twitter.com/bHzlGUXKAc
– Sayjad (@Sajjad57678616) December 10, 2022
“We now have, I’m sorry to say, three deaths,” Robin Smith, chief officer of the Jersey states police, said at a news conference, according to Reuters. The fire has been extinguished and emergency services will continue to search for survivors overnight, Smith added.
Smith said residents called Fire Services to the property Friday night and reported the smell of gas. He did not comment on the cause of the explosion and said he would be subject to investigation.
READ ALSO: Twitter Blue will relaunch tomorrow and will cost more for iOS users
According to AFP, Jersey gas supplier Island Energy said it was working with the fire service to understand what happened.
“We have a three-story building that has completely collapsed, described from a demolition standpoint as a pancake that has fallen almost to the bottom,” Smith said.
He said 20 to 30 people were evacuated and two people walking with injuries received treatment.
“There is also damage to a nearby building, another block of flats that firefighters need to protect. It’s quite a devastating scene, I’m sorry to say,” he added.
A nearby resident, Anthony Abbott, told the BBC that the shock wave smashed his apartment windows inwards. “and there was fire everywhere outside.”
“It was very, very distressing,” he told the BBC. “I’m a bit surprised, but we’re lucky to be okay.”
Jersey is a British crown dependency with a resident population of just over 100,000 people.