Western Europe

Gas explosion in Sicily destroys four buildings, several found dead

14:44, 12 December 2021
Gas explosion in Sicily destroys four buildings, several found dead Photo: Кадр из видео/BFMTV

At least three people have been confirmed deceased while six others have gone missing.

On the night of Saturday to Sunday, a blast occurred in the Italian town of Ravanusa, Italy, destroying four buildings and making several victims.

Local prosecutors Luigi Patronaggio and Sara Varazzi said that the explosion also damaged at least three other adjoining houses. According to preliminary data of officials, the blast was caused by a gas leak.

"The gas probably found a cavity in which to accumulate. This pocket of gas would then have found an accidental trigger: a car, an elevator, an electrical appliance," head of firefighters in the province of Agrigento, Giuseppe Merendino, told the Rainews24.

Footage taken on the scene shows burning rubble and affected neighboring buildings in the city center.

At least three people have been declared dead following the incident, though local media first reported that there were four victims, adding that the number of the houses damaged exceeded ten. According to Lasicilia, several people have gone missing, including a nine-month pregnant woman and minors.

Rescue services were lucky to find two people alive under the rubble, the operation continues. Emergency services deployed K9 units on the scene and urged locals to assist in the search. Some 50 citizens have been evacuated.

Prosecutors have opened an investigation and summoned a technical consultant.

“At the moment there is an area of ​​10,000 sq m (2.47 acres) under seizure affected by the explosion. It is not excluded that after the new inspection it could be more extensive," Patronaggio commented.

It is not the first time in recent days when the Italian island of Sicily appears in the news. Shortly before the Sunday incident, Sicily’s Catholic Diocese had to publicly apologize after one of its priests had told local kids that Santa Clause did not exist.