News / Europe

    At Least 4 Killed in Building Explosion in Paris Suburb

    • French firefighters search the rubble of a collapsed four-story building in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris, Aug. 31, 2014.
    • French firefighters search the rubble of a collapsed building, in which a child and elderly woman were killed, in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris, Aug. 31, 2014.
    • A French firefighter rescue dog searches the rubble of a collapsed building in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris, Aug. 31, 2014.
    • French firefighters search the rubble of a collapsed building in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris, Aug. 31, 2014.
    • French firefighters search the rubble of a collapsed building in Rosny-Sous-Bois, near Paris, Aug. 31, 2014.
    A four-story building was rocked by an explosion and collapsed in a northeastern suburb of Paris on Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014.
    VOA News

    A building in a northeastern Paris suburb collapsed after an explosion on Sunday morning, killing two children and two women, and teams were still searching the rubble for four other people late Sunday.

    About 150 emergency workers responded to the explosion in Rosny-sous-Bois, some using sniffer dogs, to try to find four adults still unaccounted for, said the prefect of Saint-Seine-Denis, Philippe Galli.

    “The later it gets, the more remote the possibility of finding survivors,” said Galli.

    Gaetan de Raucourt, head of the Paris firefighting department, said there was still hope that occupants had found "pockets of air" amid the wood and dusty concrete rubble.

    An 8-year-old child was the first victim to be found dead after the explosion at around 7 a.m. (0500 GMT), followed by the discovery of an unconscious 80-year-old woman in the debris. She died while being taken out, said fire department spokesman Gabriel Plus.

    Later in the afternoon, a woman in her 40s and her child were found dead, Galli said.

    Firefighters said 11 people were injured, four of them seriously.

    Gas leak suspected in blast

    Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, speaking to reporters at the scene, said the explosion appeared to have been caused by a gas leak.

    City officials set up a makeshift shelter in a nearby school with an on-site medical team for families affected by the blast.

    One side of the four-story building in the suburb of Rosny-Sous-Bois was ripped off completely, exposing the interiors of apartments. Local authorities said the structure appeared to have conformed to building codes.

    A rescue mission could last up to 48 hours, authorities said.

    Local residents who rushed to help in the moments after the blast described a bloody scene.

    “We tried to take people out,” said Arafet Brahim, who said he and his friends pulled out some children who appeared to be in good shape.

    “But we also took bodies out,” Brahim said. “Frankly, it was horrible, I don't know how to describe that moment."

    Pauline, a neighbor who lives about 100 meters (yards) from the collapsed building said, "Our house moved, we were trembling from fear. The explosion was so loud that "our ears were ringing."

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AFP.

    You May Like

    US Watching as North Korea Holds Biggest Political Meeting in 36 Years

    Workers' Party Congress set for Friday; Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora