LONDON – Seven people have been confirmed dead in an explosion caused by a suspected gas leak in Jersey, Channel Island police said on Tuesday.
An explosion early Saturday morning destroyed a three-story apartment building in the capital city of St. Helier.
Jersey Police Chief Robin Smith said in a statement: “The number of islanders confirmed dead in the blast now stands at seven. There are still residents missing. This number is estimated at two.
“Families have been informed of this announcement and are being supported by specially trained family liaisons.”
A formal identity check has not yet taken place, he added.
Search and rescue operations have been ongoing at the scene since the explosion. Smith previously said it could take weeks.
Urban rescue specialists from the south of England and sniffer dogs are involved in the search.
Fire Chief Paul Brown said on Sunday that firefighters were dispatched to investigate the smell of gas on Friday night, more than seven hours before the explosion.
Jersey gas supplier Island Energy said it was working with the fire department to understand what happened in an apartment building built between 1987 and 1990.
Saturday’s explosion capped a tragic week for the self-governing British royal family’s dependencies off the coast of France, whose economy depends on banking, tourism and fishing.
On Friday, the Coast Guard abandoned a search for three Jersey fishermen who were missing for 36 hours after their boat struck a cargo vessel and sank. AFPMore
https://www.straitstimes.com/world/europe/jersey-island-blast-toll-rises-to-7-rescuers-search-for-2-still-missing Jersey blast victims rise to seven.Rescuers search for his two missing men