A gas leak is the presumed cause of this tragedy which occurred on Saturday around 4 a.m. (5 a.m. Paris time) in the capital of the island, the port of Saint-Helier. CCTV footage showed a fireball engulfing the three-storey beachfront building, followed by thick smoke. Clearing operations “Won’t take days, they’ll take weeks”warned the police chief.
The questions are multiplying Sunday after the tragedy, especially since residents had called the firefighters Friday evening, a few hours before the explosion, to complain of a smell of gas. Jersey gas supplier Island Energy also said it was working with the emergency services to figure out what happened.
Jersey’s head of government, Kristina Moore, said she too was woken up by the explosion, which was heard across the island. “This is unthinkable news, we are all absolutely devastated and truly worried for the people (still missing) and for those whose lives have been lost”she said on Sunday.