The fire department said in a statement that an “explosion” caused the “partial collapse” of the building, a reception center for asylum seekers, “probably due to a gas leak” – However, the management of the center refuted the assumption that the incident was due to a gas leak.
Thirty-one people were injured, six of them seriously, when an explosion, which was “probably” caused by a “gas leak”, according to the authorities – this version is disputed – caused the collapse of part of a building housing asylum seekers in central Italy.
#Viterbo, explosion and partial collapse at 23:45 yesterday in a reception facility in S.Lorenzo Nuovo, probable cause of a gas leak: 31 people were injured. Esclusa dai #vigilidelfuocoanche con squadre USAR e cinofili, la presenza di ulteriori persone involved#11 novembre pic.twitter.com/8NEJuuPqyI
— Vigili del Fuoco (@vigilidelfuoco) November 11, 2023
Video released by the Italian fire brigade shows part of the building in San Lorenzo Nuovo, near Viterbo, reduced to rubble by the explosion, which occurred shortly before midnight on Friday to Saturday.
The fire department said in a statement that an “explosion” caused the “partial collapse” of the building, a reception center for asylum seekers, “probably due to a gas leak.” However, the management of the center refuted the assumption that the incident was due to a gas leak.
There have been no indications so far that the explosion was due to an attack or criminal act.
After searches during the night, with the participation of specially trained dogs, the number of injured was announced to be 31.
One of the injured, in a very serious condition, was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Rome and is in a coma, according to the ANSA news agency.
According to ANSA, the building was divided into small apartments where asylum seekers lived, mostly men, but also childless women.
An investigation is underway into the cause of the explosion in the building, near an industrial facility.
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