ROSARIO, Argentina: A powerful blast from a gas leak ripped through a 10-story apartment building in Argentina’s third largest city on Tuesday, leaving at least eight dead and 61 injured.
City officials in Rosario said at least 15 people were still missing as hundreds of firefighters and rescuers searched the rubble of the edifice that was in danger of collapse.
“There are eight dead. The search in the rubble will continue all night,” Mayor Monica Fein told reporters.
Four people earlier unaccounted for were found, medical sources told Agence France-Presse, decreasing an earlier tally of 19 missing.
The blast wiped away the front of the building, leaving the insides of people’s homes and gutted balconies visible from the street below.
People within a two-kilometer (one-mile) radius of the explosion, including 11 schools, were evacuated, as the gas supply to the building could not be cut off.
Civil defense officers were able to rescue survivors via the roof of a neighboring supermarket.
But civil defense director Raul Reinone said that the magnitude of the event may cause the building to collapse.
“The shock wave was tremendous,” the superintendent of a building 200 meters from the site of the explosion told the TV station C5N.