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Search for survivors after six die in Paris explosion

BOBIGNY, France -- Rescue workers searched throughout the night for two people missing after an explosion ripped through an apartment building outside Paris, killing six and reducing half a residential block to rubble.

Among the victims were a 10-year-old boy and a mother and two children aged 14 and 18.

The bodies of a 45-year-old woman and another adult were also recovered from the remains of the four-story building in the northeastern suburb of Rosny-sous-Bois.

Firefighters were combing the wreckage for two other missing people, Mayor Claude Capillon said.

“There's still hope,” said Capillon, stressing that the search and rescue operation would continue until the missing persons were accounted for.

However local prefect Philippe Galli cautioned that “the more time that passes the more the chances of finding survivors drops.”

Some 40 firefighters and other rescue workers toiled throughout Sunday night among the ruins of the building with the help of sniffer dogs.

The building was practically scythed in two. Wallpaper, toilet seats, family photos and other everyday items were left open to the elements.

Neighbours said the blast, which happened at around 7:00 a.m. (0500 GMT) Sunday, was strong enough to shake buildings some 100 meters away.

Early indications were that it was an accidental gas explosion.

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Firefighters search the rubble of a four-story residential building that collapsed following a blast in Rosny-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs of Paris on Monday, Sept. 1.

(AFP)

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