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One dead and baby rescued after blast levels French building

Rescue workers inspect the rubbles at a three-story apartment building after it collapsed in a suspected gas explosion on southern France's Mediterranean coast, Tuesday, December 7, 2021 in Sanary-sur-Mer (AP Photo/Daniel Cole) 
Associated Press Reporter

French rescue workers recovered the body of a man but rescued his baby and the child’s mother alive from the rubble of a three-storey apartment building that collapsed in a suspected gas explosion.

Two other people are missing following the incident on Tuesday on southern France’s Mediterranean coast.

The baby, thought to be around 10-months-old, was located by sniffer dogs and pulled to safety by rescue workers who dug their way through the giant pile of debris at the site, fire department captain Aurelia Mannaioni said.

A regional government official said rescue workers were also led to the baby’s location by its cries. The child’s father was found dead by its side.

The injured child was sent to hospital for treatment, she said. The baby’s mother was also rescued and taken to hospital in a serious condition, she added.

The body of a man aged in his 30s was found in the rubble, Capt Mannaioni also confirmed. He was the father of the rescued child, she added.

Searches were continuing for two other people who remain unaccounted for following the overnight blast in the coastal town of Sanary-sur-Mer, Captain Mannaioni said.

The cause of the explosion was not known, but regional authorities said first responders had noticed a strong smell of gas on arrival at the scene.

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