At least three people have died and six are still wanted after an explosion on Saturday evening in Ravanusa, Sicily, which affected several apartment buildings.
Local Civil Security said the explosion was probably due to a gas leak, but an investigation will have to determine more precisely the origin of the accident. A “shock wave” was felt up to 100 meters around the buildings concerned, according to the head of civil protection. The provisional toll is currently three dead, and six people are still wanted under the rubble. There are, a priori, no children among the missing. Rescue workers managed to uproot two living women from under the rubble this Sunday, but have since seen no other signs of life.
“Since this morning we have saved two women, but for several hours, we have not heard any signal under the rubble, said on Italian television a spokesperson for the firefighters. It certainly does not mean that we have given up hope, but obviously the passage of time is not on our side, ”he added.
#Ravanusa #crollo palazzina: 100 #vigilidelfuoco impegnati nelle operazioni di soccorso con nucleo NBCR, team USAR, cinofili e esperti nella conduzione di mezzi movimento terra. Nella clip il sorvolo con i droni sull’area dell’intervento [#12dicembre 12:15] pic.twitter.com/QNht1o13xc
– Vigili del Fuoco (@emergenzavvf) December 12, 2021
If the authorities reported four buildings affected by the explosion, the local media estimated the number of buildings affected much larger. “Everything is extremely difficult because the buildings have collapsed on top of each other and the rubble overlaps”, explained the fire chief in charge of the rescue operation, Giuseppe Merendino, quoted by the daily Giornale di Sicilia.
Faced with the extent of the damage, the mayor of Ravanusa, Carmelo D’Angelo, called on “anyone with shovels and bulldozers” to come and help the rescue services. He also said 200 people were evacuated and temporarily relocated.