Prague Explosion Injures 35 People
An explosion rocked the historic city of Prague in the Czech Republic. The potent blast ripped through the Old Town area in a tourist-filled area on Divadelni Street, near the Vltava Riverfront. The blast injured 35 people and may have trapped as many as three more.
Bohuslav Svoboda, Prague mayor, believes the explosion was from natural gas, ruling out a terrorist attack.
The 10 a.m. incident occurred in an area that dates back about 100 years in an area housing tall brick buildings. The charming row structures house art studios and libraries.
Students from damaged buildings next door to the blast had to be evacuated; The Faculty of Social
Sciences of Prague’s Charles University and the Film and TV School of the Academy of Sciences of Performing Arts.
The powerful explosion shattered the windows in buildings located hundreds of meters away. Some of the Czech Republic’s most ornate and cultural institutions, including the National Theater, a 19th structure, were damaged.
Nearby, an Associated Press (AP) cameraman was filming at the exact time of the explosion and said the impact could be felt on the renowned 15th century Charles Bridge, at the time, it was filled with tourists.
“‘There was glass everywhere and people shouting and crying,’ Vaclav Rokyta, a Czech student, told the AP near the scene.” (cbc.ca)
Previously, injuries were estimated at 40, however, officials later determined the injured number was more accurately 35; 30 of them seriously. Five people were treated at the scene with bandages.
Rescuers are still searching the site for several people who are believed to be missing.