French firefighters search the rubble of a collapsed
building in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris. Photo by Reuters
A four-storey building in a Paris suburb collapsed after
an explosion, killing a child and an elderly woman, and
emergency teams were searching the rubble for others still
About 150 emergency workers were on hand with sniffer dogs
trying to find six people unaccounted for, said the prefect
of Saint-Seine-Denis, Philippe Galli.
An 8-year-old child died in the building's collapse, and
firefighters found an unconscious 80-year-old woman in the
debris who died while being taken out, fire department
spokesman Gabriel Plus said.
Ten people, four of them seriously wounded, were pulled out
of the rubble, he said.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking to reporters at
the scene, said the explosion at around 7am (local time)
appeared to have been caused by a gas leak.
"We should be prudent, because there are investigations
ongoing. There is no certainty," he said.
One side of the building in the suburb of Rosny-Sous-Bois was
ripped off completely, exposing the interiors of the
apartments. Local authorities said the structure itself
appeared to conform to building codes.
Local residents who rushed to help in the moments after the
blast described a bloody scene.
"We tried to take people out," said Arafet Brahim, who said
he and his friends pulled out some children who appeared to
be in good shape.
"But we also took bodies out," he said. "Frankly it was
horrible, I don't know how to describe that moment," he said.