Five people were injured and eight are missing after an explosion destroyed an apartment building in the city of Marseille, in the south of France, the BBC writes.
The cause of the explosion is not yet known. It destroyed the building shortly after midnight from Saturday to Sunday, and a neighboring apartment block partially collapsed a few hours later.
Almost 200 people were evacuated from nearby buildings.
More than 100 firefighters were sent to extinguish the flames that followed the explosion. The fire burned for most of Sunday, but showed signs of abating in the evening.
The fire made it difficult to search for missing persons.
The city’s mayor, Benoit Payan, said that “we must be prepared to have victims,” and Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who traveled to the city on Sunday, told the media that he did not know whether the missing persons were alive or dead.
A local prosecutor confirmed to reporters that eight people were “not answering phone calls.”
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