Raw: Deadly French Building Collapse

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A possible gas explosion has blown the side of a 5-story residential building in France's Champagne country. At least two people have been killed and at least ten others injured. (April 28)

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1. Wide of search teams extracting what is believed to be a victim's body from building

2. Pan right from onlookers and media to police guarding area of building collapse

3. Wide of search teams wrapping victim's body

4. Wide of search teams transporting victim's body with crane

5. Wide of digger moving debris

6. Wide of ambulance outside of scene of building collapse

7. Set up shot of Reims Mayor Adeline Hazan

8. SOUNDBITE (French): Adeline Hazan, Mayor of Reims:

"We do not know the cause of the explosion, it was probably a gas explosion. At this moment we know that two people are dead, but we don't know their identity, there are 10 people not seriously injured, and one with serious injuries, they were all transported to the CHU (university hospital centre)."

9. Wide of police vehicles at the scene

10. SOUNDBITE (French): Adeline Hazan, Mayor of Reims:

"The death toll at the moment is not definitive, because we are still looking for a number of people, two to four or five people."

11. Wide of police at the scene, speaking to a woman

12. SOUNDBITE (French): Abdel Kader (no surname given), local resident:

"We were playing football (when building collapsed), we arrived at the scene of the collapse and, 30 seconds later, we saw a man in agony, calling for help, and under him there was a slab of concrete with a child with an arm out, like this."

14. SOUNDBITE (French): Abdel Kader (no surname given), local resident:

"Firemen arrived after twenty minutes, half an hour, however, they're not far away, just 500 metres (0.3 miles) (from here)."

15. Mid of police guarding area of building collapse

STORYLINE

A possible gas explosion ripped off the side of a 5-story residential building in France's Champagne country on Sunday, killing at least two people and injuring at least ten others, officials said.

Search teams extracted a victim's body as they pored over the rubble in a hunt for possible survivors.

More than 100 rescue workers, firefighters, sniffer-dog squads and bomb and gas experts were deployed to the gutted building in a subsidised housing complex in the city of Reims, east of Paris, officials said.

Reims Mayor Adeline Hazan said that the cause of the explosion was still under investigation, but it had the earmarks of a possible gas explosion.

"We do not know the cause of the explosion, it was probably a gas explosion," she said.

"At this moment we know that two people are dead, but we don't know their identity, there are 10 people not seriously injured, and one with serious injuries, they were all transported to the CHU (university hospital centre)," Hazan also said, adding that the death toll was not definitive because a number of people were still being looked for.

"The death toll at the moment is not definitive, because we are still looking for a number of people, two to four or five people," Hazan said.

"The explosion of a residential building in Reims is a terrible drama," the office of French President Francois Hollande said in a statement, conveying his condolences to the victims' relatives.

It said two people had been killed and 10 injured.

Michel Bernard, the top government official in Reims, told The Associated Press that one person was seriously injured.

He said the building dated to the 1960s, and an official investigation was underway to determine the cause.

About 10 of the 40 or so apartments in the building were affected and a search for possible survivors under the rubble was under way, he said.

A local resident, Abdel Kader, whose surname was not given, said he saw a man calling for help when he arrived at the scene, and added that under the man, he saw "a slab of concrete with a child with an arm out."

Abdel Kader also said that it took some time to rescue teams to arrive to the scene.

"Firemen arrived after twenty minutes, half an hour, however, they're not far away, just 500 metres (0.3 miles) (from here)," he said.

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