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Prague Explosion Leaves Dozens Injured
Shared on Apr 29, 2013 4:58 am by
Edited last by Miss_Moneypenny on Apr 29, 2013 5:03 am
The blast, in a popular tourist area, injures up to 40 as rescue teams search rubble for several trapped people.
12:44pm UK, Monday 29 April 2013
Gallery: Dozens Injured In Explosion In Prague
Video: Witnesses Describe Prague Explosion
Additional video - not from Sky News
A powerful explosion in the centre of Prague has injured up to 40 people and left several others buried under rubble, police have said.
The blast in a building on Divadelni Street, close to the National Theatre, was heard as far away as Prague Castle, over a mile away across the Vltava river.
It blew out the windows on many of the surrounding buildings which were evacuated.
A police spokesman said the explosion was probably caused by natural gas and that there had been around 15 people in the building, which included an office of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and an art gallery.
Pensioner Venceslava Sehnotkova, who lives in a nearby house, told Reuters: "I was sitting quietly in my flat, making coffee. Then there was an incredible explosion. I thought the building would collapse. I looked out the window, and there was only dust everywhere."
"We have treated up to 20 people, and we are trying to find out if there are people buried in the rubble," Prague emergency service spokeswoman Jirina Ernestova told AFP.
The explosion was near the National Theatre in the city
She said there were fears three people may be buried in the rubble of the damaged building which police said was a former block of flats now used as office space.
Sniffer dogs were being used and Ms Ernestova said ambulances were staying at the scene "in case someone was pulled out of the rubble".
Zdenek Schwarz, head of the rescue service in Prague, said up to 40 people have been injured but mainly suffered bruises and cuts from glass.
"I was in the bathroom, no windows, the door was closed, honestly, if I had been in my bed I would have been covered in glass," said Z B Haislip, a student from the US.
A fire department spokeswoman said there had been no reports of any deaths.
Prime Minister Petr Necas said in a statement he was "deeply hit by the tragedy of the gas explosion."
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