On Jersey, an island off the coast of northern France, an explosion early on Saturday morning left three people dead and almost a dozen more unaccounted for.
At a press conference, States of Jersey Police Chief Officer Robin Smith stated, “I regret to announce that we now have three fatalities.”
The explosion occurred just before 0400 GMT and the fire has since been extinguished. Emergency services will continue to search for survivors through the night, Smith said.
He confirmed fire services had been called to the property on Friday evening before the explosion after residents had reported the smell of gas. He did not comment on the cause of the explosion, and said that would be subject to investigation.
Smith said a three-story building, located near the harbour in the island’s capital St Helier, had completely collapsed.
Jersey is a British Crown Dependency with a resident population of just over 100,000 people.