LONDON, Dec 11 (Reuters) – The death toll from an explosion at an apartment building on the island of Jersey has risen to five and four are still missing, police on the island of Jersey said on Sunday, as emergency services said they were unlikely to find them. More survivors.
An explosion ripped through an apartment building in Jersey, off the coast of northern France, in the early hours of Saturday morning, completely destroying a three-storey building in the island’s capital, St Helier.
Local police said on Twitter: “The number of islanders killed in the explosion is currently confirmed to be 5. We are assuming 4 people are still unaccounted for.”
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency with a permanent population of just over 100,000 people.
The fire department was called to the property on Friday night after residents reported a smell of gas. The explosion happened just before 0400 GMT on Saturday.
In a news conference on Sunday, emergency services said the search and rescue operation had been switched to a recovery operation, suggesting there was little hope of finding survivors.
Jersey State Police Chief Robin Smith said the investigation would be independent and he would “not rule anything out” when asked if he viewed the incident as a possible criminal case.
He added that it would take some time to resume operations and identify the bodies.
“We’re not going to be here for a few days. We might be here for a few weeks,” he told reporters.
Reporting by Alistair Small; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky and Ros Russell
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