One person was still missing at midday on Saturday and another was seriously injured after an explosion, of unknown origins but which could be due to gas, which occurred in the morning in a small building in the center of Bordeaux.
A first assessment gave two missing but a wanted person appeared, according to the prefecture which specifies that the vital prognosis of the injured person, an 89-year-old man, “is engaged”.
According to the director of cabinet of the prefecture Delphine Balsa, on site, “we thought that there were initially two people” but one came forward, “we are very actively looking for the companion of this 89-year-old man who would still be under the rubble “.
According to the authorities and the emergency services, an explosion took place around 8 a.m. in a small building on rue Borie, in the Chartrons district, housing a car park on the ground floor and a house on the first.
The building was totally destroyed. The blast also affected two adjoining buildings which “partially collapsed”, according to firefighters.
Some 70 firefighters assisted by five dog teams and a clearing and consolidation unit, were dispatched to the site.
– “My bay window exploded” –
A regrouping point has been set up to accommodate 11 shocked people, who will have to be relocated.
In this central district of small old buildings, the explosion shattered several shop windows. You could see hundreds of crumbled tiles in the street.
At the rescue center, Lucie Perrouault, 21, apprentice, said: “My boyfriend lives at 64” just next door. “I was scared. The apartment was blown up, the windows exploded. It happened between 8:15 am and 8:30 am”.
“The glass from our window was blown on us, we stepped on glass and my boyfriend was injured. We all got out of the street, the fire department was there five minutes after the explosion. The street was evacuated.” .
Mael, 38, who was not injured, also lives at 64: “I was sleeping and I heard a big boom. My bay window exploded. On my terrace there was debris of tiles and the ceiling of my bathroom fell out. I went out and saw that an apartment had been blown up “.
Initial findings suggest an explosion due to gas, which was cut off in the area.
“We initially thought that the garage activity could also have been one of the causes of the explosion”, according to Ms. Balsa, “we would rather be on a gas leak but the investigation must progress”.
“The firefighters took out gas cylinders but we do not know for the moment whether it is the network, cylinders or an indoor installation,” said Eric Destarac, communications director of Regaz. which provides gas distribution.
“We could have had a much more serious disaster in a dense neighborhood like Chartrons where the streets are very narrow,” added Ms. Balsa.
In this street of small buildings, firefighters always used a vehicle with an arm topped off at midday to find the missing person.