Three dead and many missing after an explosion on the island of Jersey

LONDON (Reuters) – Three people were killed and about a dozen are still missing after an explosion occurred early on Saturday in an apartment building on the island of Jersey, off the coast of northern France.

“We now have, I regret to say, three deaths,” Jersey State Police Chief Constable Robin Smith told a news conference.

The explosion occurred just before 0400 GMT and the fire has since been put out. Smith said emergency services will continue to search for survivors throughout the night.

He confirmed that fire services were called to the property on Friday evening before the explosion after residents reported the smell of gas. He did not comment on the cause of the explosion and said it would be investigated.

Smith said a three-storey building near the port in the island’s capital, St Helier, had completely collapsed.

He said that between 20 and 30 people had been evacuated and that two of the “walking wounded” had been treated in hospital.

Jersey is a British Crown Dependency with a population of just over 100,000 people.

(Reporting by William James) Additional reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Alex Richardson and Clelia Uzel

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