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10th Dec 2022

Jersey flat explosion: One person killed and 12 missing

Steve Hopkins

Police said the search and rescue effort could take a ‘number of days’

At least one person has died after an explosion in a block of flats in St Helier, Jersey police have said, and 12 people are believed to be missing.

Two “walking wounded” are being treated at hospital.

Emergency services arrived at the scene at Haut du Mont, Pier Road, in the capital just before 4am on Saturday.

The chief of police, Robin Smith, said that the search and rescue effort could last “a number of days”.

He said the scene is “pretty devastating” and “very dangerous one for all of our staff”.

The force said it was using specialist resources to find “anybody trapped in the rubble”.

Chief Minister Kristina Moore said the island had seen “what amazing strength we have within our emergency services”, with 21 police officers, nine paramedics and 19 firefighters deployed to the scene, the BBC reported.

The police said in a statement: “Following the explosion this morning at Haut du Mont, Pier Road, a number of residents are still missing. Emergency services are working at the scene and have commenced a surface search of the site.”

It said relatives were being contacted by family liaison officers.

A fire caused by the explosion has been put out, emergency services said, but people have been asked to avoid the area.

A large area of St Helier was cordoned off and the island’s government has asked islanders not to go to the hospital’s emergency department “unless absolutely necessary”.

The Government of Jersey has asked islanders not to go to the Emergency Department “unless absolutely necessary”.

About 20 to 30 people are being cared for at St Helier Town Hall.

Pier Road, Pier Road car park and South Hill have been cordoned off.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.