Death Toll in French Apartment Blast Reaches 3; Search Over

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
December 9, 2021 Updated: December 9, 2021

PARIS—French rescuers retrieved two more bodies Wednesday from the rubble of an apartment building in southern France that collapsed in a suspected gas explosion, bringing the overall death toll to three.

The local fire department said it called off the search since no one else was reported missing from Tuesday’s blast in the coastal town of Sanary-sur-Mer on France’s Mediterranean coast.

Construction teams started tearing down an adjacent building Wednesday, fearing that it too could collapse, according to fire department.

France Building Collapse
Rescue workers search the rubbles at a three-story apartment building after it collapsed in a suspected gas explosion on southern France’s Mediterranean coast in Sanary-sur-Mer, on Dec. 7, 2021. (Daniel Cole/AP Photo)

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s blast, emergency workers heard a baby’s cries from beneath the rubble and dug out a child of around 10 months old and its mother. Both were hospitalized. The father was found dead by the baby’s side, authorities said.

Rescue efforts continued through the night, and two other bodies were found.

The cause of the explosion wasn’t immediately clear, but regional authorities said first responders noticed a strong smell of gas on arrival at the scene.