Jersey: One dead and “a dozen” missing after blast destroys homes

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One person has died and several residents are still missing after a massive explosion in Jersey.

Locals likened the blast to an “earthquake” and said windows in nearby properties were shattered.

After the blast, flames had spread to the apartments of Haut du Mont on Pier Road, St Helier.

Work is underway to locate residents who may be “trapped in the rubble.”

In a news conference, Jersey’s Police Chief Robin Smith said the force received reports of a “large explosion” at 4am.

He said one person died and two people, whom he described as “running wounded,” were taken to hospital.

“It’s a pretty devastating scene,” he told reporters. “The scene is very dangerous for all of our employees.

“Of course there are a number of other people who are missing and therefore a search and rescue operation has begun.”

A fire spread in Haut du Mont on Pier Road in the south of the island (Image: Twitter)

Between 20 and 30 people evacuated from the area had been taken to St Helier Town Hall.

Jersey Police said in a statement: “A number of residents are still missing following the explosion this morning at Haut du Mont, Pier Road.

“Emergency services are working on site and have begun a surface search of the site.

“Relatives will be contacted by Family Liaison Officers.”

Jersey’s Police Chief Robin Smith said the force received reports of a “large explosion” at 4am (Image: Jersey Government)
Jersey Premier Kristina Moore thanked the emergency services during this morning’s press conference (Image: Jersey Government)

Jersey Police said the fire had been extinguished but emergency services are still carrying out “significant work” at the scene, which is cordoned off and people have been asked to avoid the area.

The fire occurred in St Helier, one of Jersey’s twelve parishes.

It has a population of 35,822 – more than a third of Jersey’s total population – and is the island’s capital.

Jersey Premier Kristina Moore said the homes would be operated by Andium Homes, who were working to ensure everyone who was evicted had somewhere to stay.

The politician also credited the emergency services for their ongoing work at the scene, which would take “a few days” to clear.

Ms Moore said: “In these difficult times I find it reassuring for everyone to see the amazing strength we have in our emergency services and we thank once again everyone who stood up and came to the rescue and continued to work on the ground.

“This will take a few days and we will keep everyone informed and fully informed and do our best to ensure everyone is properly looked after.”

When asked how many people were still missing, Mr Smith said: “Given the destruction of the building, it’s difficult to give a proper estimate of the numbers.

“We’re currently searching in the range of about a dozen, but you’ll also appreciate that the number can fluctuate.”

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/10/one-person-killed-and-several-still-missing-after-huge-explosion-in-jersey-17914225/ Jersey: One dead and "a dozen" missing after blast destroys homes

Justin Scacco

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