Thirty-one people were injured after an explosion at a reception center for asylum seekers in central Italy. The likely cause was a “gas leak,” fire officials said.
A video released by firefighters shows parts of a two-story building in San Lorenzo Nuovo, in the Lazio region, in the province of Viterbo (central Italy), reduced to rubble after the explosion shortly before midnight on Friday, according to the French information agency AFP.
#Viterbo, explode and parziale crollo all 23:45 di eri in a struttura di accoglienza a S. Lorenzo Nuovo, probably causing a gas leak: 31 the person injured. lock from there #vigilidelfuocomore with USAR squad and cinofili, the presence of later persone coinvolte#11November pic.twitter.com/8NEJuuPqyI
– Vigili del Fuoco (@vigilidelfuoco) November 11, 2023
In a press release, fire officials explained that there was an “explosion and partial collapse” of the building, presented as a reception center for asylum seekers, “probably due to a gas leak”.
After nighttime searches with the help of dogs, the number of injured came to 31.
One person in serious condition was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Rome and is currently in a coma, Italian news agency Ansa said.
According to Ansa, the building consisted of mini-apartments housing asylum seekers, mainly men, but also women without children.
An investigation was opened into the causes of the explosion.