An explosion likely caused by a gas leak ripped through a restaurant in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Thursday, killing at least three people and injuring 13, officials said. The early morning explosion caused heavy damage to the restaurant, which wasn't open, and to the apartments above it, officials said. Firefighters and the city's civil defence department were searching for more victims, though no people were known to be missing. Authorities were still investigating the cause of the explosion but firefighters and local residents believed it was caused by gas that had accumulated inside the restaurant. The restaurant had been closed on Wednesday, a public holiday, and gas had probably leaked throughout the day and night. It was believed when the restaurant's first employees arrived Thursday morning, they may have somehow caused a spark that ignited the gas. The blast blew out windows up to the 8th floor of the building, and flung debris as far as 109 yards (100 metres). Two of the victims have been identified as restaurant employees, according to officials. Three of the injured were in serious condition after being taken to a local hospital.
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