- 6 updates
At least three people have died and 14 others were injured when a possible gas explosion ripped off the side of a five-story residential building in France's Champagne country, the Associated Press reported, citing officials.
More than 100 rescue workers, firefighters, sniffer-dog squads and bomb and gas experts were sent to the subsidized housing complex in the city of Reims.
"The explosion of a residential building in Reims is a terrible drama," French President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement.
Michel Bernard, the top government official in Reims, said rescue workers searching for survivors found the body of a woman under the rubble this afternoon, raising the death toll to three.
He said it was unlikely that the toll would rise any higher.
A spokesman for the Reims's Emergency Services has confirmed that at least nine people were injured and two people killed, when a large part of a residential building collapsed on Sunday morning.
The spokesperson said that the authorities believed there might still be more victims, but that the cause of the explosion was still unknown.
A cordon has been put in place around a residential apartment block in Reims following an explosion which caused the four storey building to partially collapse.
The French news programme French 3 reports that two people have died, one person is injured and ten apartments have been destroyed as a result of an explosion at an apartment block in the City of Reims.
The news outlet has also tweeted photos of the explosion site in Reims which shows the collapsed apartment blocks.
The Mayor of Reims Adeline Hazan has told the French news agency BFM TV that at least "two people were killed" in the accident at a four storey block of flats in the city.
Initial reports on local French media suggest the explosion may have been caused by a gas leak.
French media agencies are reporting that four storey building has collapsed in the city of Reims.
Le Monde Newspaper reports that the neighbourhood has been evacuated due to concerns that there might be another explosion, although the cause of this blast is not yet known.