published: 29.04.2013, 12:22 | updated: 29.04.2013 14:47:02
Prague - A strong blast, probably caused by gas leak, in a building in the Prague centre caused some 40 injuries, mostly light, this morning, police spokesman Tomas Hulan has told CTK.
It has been the most disastrous explosion in the Czech Republic in the past years in terms of the number of casualties.
Dog-handlers have not yet found anyone in the ruins, though two persons are missing, but they may have left before the explosion, Hulan said.
Ambulances took 35 people, including one severely injured person, to hospital after the blast, Prague Emergency Service spokeswoman Jirina Ernestova told CTK .
Rescuers are still looking for possible people under the debris. Several people might be in the debris, she said.
Some foreigners are among the injured, Ernestova said without elaborating.
Prime Minister Petr Necas said he was getting acquainted with the situation and that the tragedy had deeply touched him.
The accident has moved a wall of the house by five centimetres.
"We do not know whether gas exploded or the cause was different," Prazska plynarenska gas company spokesman Miroslav Vranek told CTK.
The blast broke windows in a broad vicinity, a number of people have been cut by the glass.
The building affected is commercially used. The Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University are situated in close vicinity to it.
The buildings of the National Theatre and the Science Academy that are also close to the explosion-ridden building have been evacuated.
The Faculty of Social Sciences has evacuated 300 to 400 students, including foreigners, its dean Jakub Koncelik told CTK.
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