Three killed in French building collapse after blast

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.

Rescue forces surround the rubble of a collapsed residential building in Reims, France.
Rescue forces surround the rubble of a collapsed residential building in Reims, France. Credit: REUTERS/Stringer

"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.

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3 dead in French flats explosion

Three people have died and at least 14 have been injured after a suspected gas explosion at a block of flats in the French city of Reims. Officials believe there could be more injured people trapped beneath the rubble of the four-story building.