Jersey explosion: One dead, ’12 missing’ in horror blast – MashaherNet

10 ديسمبر 202225 مشاهدة
Jersey explosion: One dead, ’12 missing’ in horror blast – MashaherNet

One person has died and “about 12” are missing following an explosion at a block of flats in Jersey in the UK that was so strong “it was picked up by earthquake monitors”.

The horror blast in Jersey’s capital, St Helier, happened just before 4am local time, with emergency services launching a search for survivors in the rubble of the three storey building.

Jersey Police have now warned more fatalities are possible as they search the blast site for survivors after the explosion and fire on the south of the island, The Sun reports.

Officers have cordoned off a large part of St Helier after one person was reported dead, with cops urging people to stay away from the debris-strewn area surrounding Mount Bingham.

Two others, described by cops as “walking wounded”, have been evacuated to the nearby Town Hall to be treated.

The force said in a statement: “Following the explosion this morning at Haut du Mont, Pier Road, a number of residents are still missing.

“Emergency services are working at the scene and have commenced a surface search of the site.

“Relatives are being contacted by Family Liaison Officers.”

Robin Smith, chief officer at States of Jersey Police said: “There are of course a number of other people that are unaccounted for and therefore a search and rescue operation has commenced.”

He added the search could take a number of days, saying: “It is a pretty devastating scene.”

When asked whether there are likely to be more deaths, he said: “I wouldn’t want to speculate on those sorts of things … but there has to be a recognition that we could have more fatalities.”

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He said Jersey Fire and Rescue Service were liaising with Hampshire Fire and Rescue to help with the search.

Mr Smith added between 20 and 30 people evacuated from the area had been taken to St Helier Town Hall.

Twenty-one police officers, nine paramedics and 19 firefighters have attended the scene with extra staff being called into the hospital.

Local Janice Byrne, who lives in flats opposite, said: “I was nearly thrown out of my bed by an explosion.

“It was terrifying. There was a massive bang and the building shook.”

Cops said the fire has been extinguished, but emergency services are still “carrying out significant work” at the scene, which is cordoned off, and people have been asked to avoid the area.

Local reports have confirmed that firefighters were called out on Friday night – many hours before the blast – after residents reported smelling gas.

Chief minister of Jersey, Kristina Moore, said the flats were run by Andium Homes.

A company spokesperson said officers are working to ensure anyone who’s lost a home will have somewhere to stay tonight.

Moore also paid tribute to the emergency services for their ongoing work at the scene, which she said would take “some days” to clear.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday morning, Ms Moore said: “Through these difficult times, I think it’s reassuring for everyone to see what amazing strength we have within our emergency services and, again, we just thank everybody who stepped up and came to the rescue and continue to work on the scene.

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“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.”

Asked how many people were still missing, Mr Smith said: “Given the destruction of the building it is hard to properly assess the numbers.

“We are looking in the region of around a dozen currently, but you will appreciate also that number could fluctuate.”

Jersey Consumer Council Chairman Carl Walker said: “Thoughts are with all those affected by this morning’s explosion in St Helier, which was powerful enough to be picked up on British Geological Survey’s earthquake monitors.

“It’s now time for Jersey’s community to respond like never before.”

While at this stage there is no confirmation of the cause of the explosion, Jersey’s gas supplier – Island Energy – posted an update on Twitter.

The tweet read: “We are working with @JsyFire to understand exactly what has happened and will share more information once it is available.

“We ask that islanders continue to follow the advice given by emergency services at this time.”

This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission

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