“A dozen” residents of this three-storey building in Saint-Helier (south of the island) are still missing, said local police chief Robin Smith, adding that a “big explosion” had took place around 4 a.m., on the night of Friday to Saturday.
Research to find the “missing” people
A fire was also started but was brought under control by firefighters, who remained on site all day, police said while numerous ambulances were on the scene. “Emergency services are working on the spot and have started a search of the site,” police said, asking residents to avoid the area.
According to Robin Smith, two injured were taken to hospital and 20 to 30 people were evacuated from the neighborhood and received at the town hall of Saint-Helier which is the capital of the island. The local police chief also said that the place was “devastated” and that the research was “very dangerous” for his staff. “Given the destruction of the building, it is difficult to precisely assess the number” of missing people, admitted the head of government of Jersey, Kristina Moore, specifying that the clearing of the premises could take “several days”.
Images of the explosion captured
The very impressive images of the explosion were captured by a CCTV camera positioned opposite the site of the explosion, on the port adjoining Pier Road. From the peaceful night suddenly springs an immense glow: that of the explosion which dazzles the whole city before a heavy smoke invades the sky of Jersey. According to the ITV channel, the windows of several homes in the area were blown out by the explosion.
A gas alert shortly before the tragedy
This Saturday evening, the causes of the tragedy were not yet known. Authorities announced that an investigation had been opened. Robin Smith nevertheless confirmed, during a press briefing, that an alert had been launched earlier for a smell of gas in the neighborhood. Jersey Fire and Rescue also reported seeing several pockets of fire in the area.
letelegramme Fr Trans