According to Jersey police, an explosion in a residential building in St. Helier resulted in at least three fatalities.
The island’s chief minister and the leaders of the fire, police, and medical services said there were still 12 individuals missing at Haut du Mont, Pier Road, in the capital, during a press conference on Saturday afternoon.
At a press conference, States of Jersey Police Chief Officer Robin Smith stated, “We now have, I regret to say, three fatalities.”
He affirmed that locals had reported the smell of gas on Friday evening, prompting the fire department to be dispatched to the scene before the explosion. He said the cause of the explosion would be investigated and made no comments about it.
In St. Helier, the island’s capital, a three-story structure close to the harbour, according to Smith, has entirely fallen.
Twenty to thirty persons, according to him, had been rescued, and two “walking wounded” had gotten medical attention.
It was established that the explosion happened at 4 am on Saturday, less than eight hours after firefighters had been summoned to the scene due to homeowner concerns.
Paul Brown, chief fire officer, stated: “The primary challenge is the fact that we have a dangerous structure that has collapsed … anything that we do, or do in the wrong way, may then jeopardise the chance of survival of anyone who might be rescued.”
Brown added that an investigation was conducted after firefighters were called to the location and in response to a question about whether this was connected to the explosion, he stated, “I can confirm that the fire and rescue service did attend.
“I don’t know the exact number of firefighters, but they did attend. The call was received at 20.36 yesterday evening.
“I know that they did conduct investigations, but I think at the moment what I’m focused on is just the emergency response.
“I will give you an answer to that but what I’d like to do for the moment is focus on the emergency response, talk to my colleagues and consider those bits that are subject to the investigation – and make sure I don’t tell you something that I need to tell someone else first.”