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    Gas leak explosion: Argentina building blast kills 12, injures dozens

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    Originally published on August 7, 2013

    At least 12 people were killed and more than 60 were injured when an explosion ripped through an apartment building in downtown Rosario, Argentina on Tuesday morning. Officials say the blast, which took place at around 9:45 a.m., was most likely caused by a natural gas leak.

    According to Municipal Health Secretary Leonardo Caruana, two of those killed were a young man and woman, and three of the injured are in critical condition. However, no other information about the victims was made public.

    Some 15 people are still unaccounted for, according to La Nacion.

    The explosion caused the front and back sides of the building to crumble, exposing shattered apartments inside the structure while sending bricks, glass and cement into the street. A fire that took firefighters at least three hours to extinguish trapped residents on the top few floors of the building. Rescue crews worked from above and below to pull people to safety from balconies and windows.

    Surrounding buildings were also damaged by the shock wave and debris. A huge plume of smoke was seen rising over the city. The blast was so violent authorities evacuated buildings and schools within a five-block radius of the blast site, fearing a collapse. At least 11 schools were evacuated.

    Litoral Gas company, which supplies areas of the city with natural gas, cut off gas flow to most of the downtown Rosario area while rescue efforts were underway.

    Security Secretary Sergio Berni deployed border police and coast guard to help local authorities with the rescue effort.


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