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

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora