31 injured in suspected gas blast at Italian migrant centre

A suspected gas explosion partially brought down a building housing asylum seekers in central Italy overnight, hurting 31 people, firemen said Saturday.

A video released by the fire department shows parts of the two-story building in San Lorenzo Nuovo, close to Viterbo, destroyed by the explosion that happened just before midnight.

The fire service stated there had been an “explosion and partial collapse” of the building, which it described as a receiving centre, “probably as a result of a gas leak”.

31 persons have been confirmed injured, according to the report, after searches that included the use of sniffer dogs.

As per the ANSA news agency, one individual was in critical condition and was transported by helicopter to a hospital in Rome, where he is presently in a coma.

According to the report, the building is made up of mini-apartments that house asylum seekers, mostly men but also women without children.

As reported by ANSA, a carpenter’s workshop and a wine shop adjacent to the building were also destroyed.

The cause of the explosion is being investigated.

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