Dogs search for bodies following Sicily blast

Death toll rises to seven confirmed following Sicily blast

By Region News The Islands

Rescuers on Sicily pulled four more bodies from the rubble of buildings which collapsed following an explosion on Saturday. The death toll has risen to seven confirmed following the Sicily blast.

Italian rescuers pulled four bodies from collapsed buildings in Sicily on Monday after a suspected gas explosion. At least seven people have now died after the Sicily blast destroyed four residential buildings on Saturday evening in the town of Ravanusa.

Search continues for bodies

Firefighters continue to search the rubble for two people still said to be missing.

Among those retrieved on Monday was that of Selene Pascariello, a 30-year-old nurse who was nine-months pregnant. She was found along with the bodies of her husband and his parents.

Sniffer dogs were used to locate their bodies.

Collapsed buildings

Authorities reported four houses had collapsed and another three were damaged during the Sicily blast. The explosion was as far six kilometres (four miles) away.

Fire service spokesman Luca Cari said the rubble had to be removed piece by piece to prevent further collapses that might endanger both firefighters and anyone else still under the rubble.

Two people were pulled alive from the rubble on Sunday morning.

Gas leak possible cause

One hundred people have had to leave their homes because of the explosion. Authorities believe a gas leak caused the explosion, but a full investigation is underway.

Salvatore Cocina, head of Sicily’s civil protection agency told Ansa news agency that the functioning of an elevator could have set off the explosion.

Some residents said there had been a strong smell of gas for several days. However, gas provider Italgas said it had not received reports of a leak. The network was fully inspected in 2020 and 2021.

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