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Rescuers pull four more bodies from rubble after Sicily...

Newsdeck

Sicily

Rescuers pull four more bodies from rubble after Sicily explosion

epa09639814 A handout photo made available by Vigili del Fuoco shows rescue teams at the scene of a blast caused by a gas leak in Ravanusa, Sicily, Italy, 13 December 2021. Firefighters found a fourth body in the rubble of the collapsed buildings in Ravanusa which is believed to be a woman. Previously, the bodies of two women and a man were recovered; two survivors were rescued and five people are still missing. EPA-EFE/US VIGILI DEL FUOCO HANDOUT BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
By Reuters
13 Dec 2021 0

RAVANUSA, Italy, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Rescuers have pulled four more bodies out of the rubble of houses destroyed by a suspected gas explosion in the Sicilian town of Ravanusa, bringing the total death toll to seven, the fire brigade said.

Two people are still missing from Saturday’s blast, which demolished four houses and badly damaged another three.

Sniffer dogs located the four bodies, including a nurse who was nine-months pregnant, in the early hours and emergency services worked through the night to clear away the debris in order to reach them safely. “The rubble has to be removed carefully piece by piece to avoid other possible collapses, which could hit both the fire-fighters … but also the people we are looking for,” fire service spokesman Luca Cari told Reuters.

Authorities said the deadly explosion was likely triggered by a gas leak, although an investigation was underway to ascertain the cause.

Gas grid operator Italgas expressed its sorrow and condolences to people in Ravanusa. It said its emergency service had received no reports of gas leaks last week.

Ravanusa is a town of about 11,000 people near the southwestern Sicilian city of Agrigento, which is famous for its Greek temples.

By Antonio Denti.

(Additional reporting by Giulia Segreti in Rome; Editing by Christian Schmollinger; Editing by Crispian Balmer).

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