At least one person has died after an explosion at a building in St Helier, Jersey Police have said.
A dozen people are said to be missing, including two “walking wounded” treated in hospital.
Emergency services arrived at the scene at Haut du Mont, Pier Road, in the capital in the early hours of Saturday.
Police Chief Robin Smith said he thought the search and rescue effort would take “several days”.
“It’s a pretty devastating scene…the scene is very dangerous for all of our staff,” he said.
Emergency services said the fire following the explosion had been extinguished. The public was asked to avoid the area.
Much of St Helier has been cordoned off and the island government has asked islanders not to go to the hospital emergency department ‘unless absolutely necessary’.
Police said in a statement: “Following this morning’s explosion at Haut du Mont, Pier Road, a number of residents remain missing. Emergency services are working at the scene and have begun a search for site area.
He said relatives were contacted by family liaison officers.