An explosion and fire in an apartment building on the Channel Island of Jersey killed at least three people and left others missing, police said on Saturday.
Robin Smith, the chief officer of the States of Jersey Police, said during a news conference that “around a dozen” residents were missing following the blast in the town of St. Helier.
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is a self-governing dependency of the United Kingdom located off the coast of northern France in the English Channel.
Smith said a three-storey building had “completely collapsed,” and there was also damage to a nearby building. He described the scene as “devastating” and warned there could be more fatalities.
The fire service was called to the area the night before after residents reported smelling gas, Smith said.
He said police would investigate if there was a safety issue with natural gas lines.
Police said in a statement that while the fire was extinguished, emergency service agencies were carrying out significant work at the scene.
Authorities advised residents to avoid the area of the blast, which was cordoned off.