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Three dead, several missing after explosion on Jersey island

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By William James

LONDON (RockedBuzz via Reuters) – Three people have died and a dozen are missing after an explosion occurred Saturday morning at an apartment building on the island of Jersey, off the northern coast of France.

“We now have, I’m sorry to say, three victims,” ​​Robin Smith, chief police officer for the States of Jersey, said at a news conference.

The explosion occurred just before 0400 GMT and the fire has since been extinguished. Emergency services will continue to search for survivors through the night, Smith said.

He confirmed that firefighters had been called to the property on the Friday night before the explosion after residents reported the smell of gas. She did not comment on the cause of the explosion and said it would be investigated.

Smith said a three-story 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” received hospital treatment.

Jersey is a British crown dependency with a resident population of just over 100,000 people.

(Reporting by William James; additional reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Alex Richardson and Clelia Oziel)