- Several buildings hit by gas explosion in Sicilian town
- At least three dead due to explosion - Civil Protection
- Rescuers still searching for survivors
RAVANUSA, Italy: Three people were killed and six are still missing after a gas explosion late on Saturday caused several residential buildings in the Sicilian town of Ravanusa to collapse, Italian authorities said on Sunday.
Two people were rescued alive under the rubble of the collapsed buildings, the Sicilian arm of the body that deals with disasters and catastrophes on its Tweeter account on Sunday.
“The local representative for the Civil Protection reports that four victims have been ascertained,” Sicily’s Civil protection said in a tweet.
Rescuers thought a total of 11 people had been hit by the explosion, the captain of the local fire fighters, Giuseppe Merendino, said earlier on Sunday.
A priest who was celebrating mass nearby on Saturday evening said the houses caught fire after a natural gas pipe exploded in the town of 11,000 people, which is near Agrigento, a city in the southwest of the island famous for its Greek temples.
The methane explosion resulted in the collapse of several buildings in the town, Italy's civil protection officers said.
Two were both women and transported to a local hospital, rescuers added.
One of the women, Rosa Carmina told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: "I had just returned home, around 8pm, suddenly the light went out, the roof and the floor came down".
She said her sister-in-law was the other woman rescued from the rubble.
Around 250 rescuers arrived in Ravanusa to help with the search and rescue mission, the Sicily civil protection said. Firefighters originally had a difficult time intervening due to the ga
s leak.Firemen were still digging in the rubble for five missing people, including a young man.
“It is a huge tragedy... Let’s pray to ask God to avoid more deaths,” said the priest, Filippo Barbera.