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One dead, dozen missing after explosion at apartment block on Channel island of Jersey

The content originally appeared on: CNN


One person died Saturday and several are missing after an explosion and fire at an apartment building on the British self-governing island of Jersey.

Chief officer of the States of Jersey Police, Robin Smith, told a press conference that two people were being treated in hospital after the incident in the island’s capital of St Helier, adding “around a dozen” residents were still missing.

Local police were alerted to the incident just before 4 a.m. local time, Smith said, adding emergency services then responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.

The three-story building has “completely collapsed,” Smith confirmed, describing the situation as a “devastating scene.”

He said a number of flats had been evacuated, adding that between 20 and 30 people had been taken to a nearby town hall for shelter.

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A search and rescue operation for those unaccounted for has commenced, Smith added.

Jersey is an island territory off the northwest coast of France, which is a possession of the British Crown, but not part of the United Kingdom itself.