5 die in gas explosion in Slovakia

Emergency services work at the scene of a gas explosion in an apartment building in Presov, eastern Slovakia, on Friday. — AFP

BRATISLAVA — At least five people died and dozens were injured in a gas explosion that rocked a high-rise apartment building in eastern Slovakia on Friday, rescue services said.

"Five people died and we estimated the number of injured at 40," Alena Krcova, a spokeswoman for the rescue services, said.

The blast in the eastern Slovak town of Presov, 400 km (250 miles) from the capital Bratislava, occurred around noon on Friday.

A hospital spokeswoman told local media that none of the nine blast casualties treated at the facility in the immediate aftermath of the explosion had been in a critical condition.

"The blast followed by a fire affected four or five floors" of the 12-story building, firefighters told local media, warning that it was in danger of collapsing.

Firefighters evacuated an unknown number of people from the building, local police said in a post on their official Facebook page. — AFP