Jersey flats explosion: Eighth victim confirmed to have died after blast with one person still unaccounted for | UK News
Eight people are now confirmed to have died following an explosion at a block of flats in Jersey, police have said.
In a statement, Robin Smith, Jersey Chief of Police, said one resident remained unaccounted for following the blast at the Haut du Mont site on Pier Road, St Helier, on Saturday.
It read: “The number of islanders confirmed to have died in the blast is now eight. We estimate that there is still one resident that is unaccounted for.
“As has been our process throughout, the families have been made aware of this announcement before the public and media and are being supported by our specially trained family liaison officers.
“I am sure islanders will continue to join me in giving our thoughts to those victims, their families, and friends, in what has been a tragic incident for our island and our community.”
On Tuesday, police confirmed the number of people killed in the incident had risen from five to seven, and named two final missing people as Ken and Jane Ralph, aged 72 and 71 respectively.
Prior to that, officials named seven other missing people as Peter Bowler, 72, Raymond Brown, 71, Romeu and Louise De Almeida, 67 and 64, Derek and Sylvia Ellis, 61 and 73, and Billy Marsden, 63.
Emergency services have been conducting searches of the blast site in St Helier since Saturday, and confirmed earlier this week that they were no longer looking for survivors.
Search for bodies continues
Police have said the search for bodies “will take weeks, not days” and described the scene on Pier Road as one of “utter devastation”.
The cause of the explosion has still not been confirmed, with Jersey’s chief fire officer Paul Brown previously saying there were “many different potential causes” and it was too early to speculate.
In the hours before the blast, the fire service was called to the building after residents reported smelling gas and a leak was said to be a “likely” cause.
However, the chief executive of Island Energy, which supplies gas to the Channel Islands, said the flats affected were not connected to the gas network.