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At least four dead after gas explosion in Sicily

Two people were found alive under the rubble of the collapsed buildings, Italy’s Civil Protection said.

At least four people died when several buildings collapsed in the Sicilian town of Ravanusa following a gas explosion late on Saturday, Italy’s Civil Protection said.

Two people were found alive under the rubble of the collapsed buildings, the Sicilian arm of the body that deals with disasters and catastrophes on its Tweeter account on Sunday.

A rescue team searches for missing residents after a four-story building collapsed following a gas explosion, in Ravanusa, Italy, on Dec. 12, 2021.Antonio Parrinello / REUTERS

“The local representative for the Civil Protection reports that four victims have been ascertained,” Sicily’s Civil protection said in a tweet.

Rescuers thought a total of 11 people had been hit by the explosion, the captain of the local fire fighters, Giuseppe Merendino, said earlier on Sunday.

A priest who was celebrating mass nearby on Saturday evening said the houses caught fire after a natural gas pipe exploded in the town of 11,000 people, which is near Agrigento, a city in the southwest of the island famous for its Greek temples.

Firemen were still digging in the rubble for five missing people, including a young man.

“It is a huge tragedy... Let’s pray to ask God to avoid more deaths,” said the priest, Filippo Barbera.