British media has reported the deaths of at least three people following an explosion on the British Channel island of Jersey early on Saturday morning, with several others still missing, according to DW.
BBC Jersey reported the rising death toll and said searches for the missing would continue throughout the night, citing the island’s Chief of Police Robin Smith.
A three-story building completely collapsed following the blast, Smith said earlier in the day.
Authorities called on people to avoid the area on the island off the coast of northern France where the explosion took place.
“This is going to take some days and we will keep everyone updated and fully informed, and we will do our very best to ensure everybody is properly looked after,” the island’s chief minister Kristina Moore said.
The explosion occurred at an apartment block in the capital of St. Helier at around 0400 GMT.
Two people were hospitalized and around 12 are missing, the police chief said.
Residents reported the smell of gas before the explosion, Smith told local TV. He refrained from confirming the cause of the explosion, citing the need for an investigation first.
The police wrote on Twitter that a fire caused by the explosion was put out, adding that emergency workers were still “carrying out significant work.”
“Emergency services are working at the scene and have commenced a surface search of the site,” the police said, adding that family liaison officers were reaching out to relatives of those missing.
A British Crown Dependency, Jersey is part of the British Isles with its own financial and legal systems. It has a population of just over 100,000 people.
Source: Azerbaijan State News Agency