Latin America & Caribbean

Explosion at a shop in Argentina kills two people

Map of Virrey del Pino

A powerful explosion at a shop in Argentina has killed at least two people and injured many others.

The blast occurred at a shop that sold gas cylinders in Virrey del Pino, a city about 40 km (25 miles) southwest of the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.

It caused a large fire, destroyed an adjacent supermarket and a garage, and damaged nearby houses and cars.

The emergency services say people could be trapped under the rubble. The cause of the explosion remains unknown.

"There was a very strong blast that caused the collapse [of the buildings]," Fire Department operations chief Daniel Bodego was quoted as saying by La Nacion newspaper.

"People who were trapped were rescued by the emergency services when they arrived at the scene [but] we still don't know [whether more people are under the rubble]," he said.

Media reports quoted residents as saying that the explosion was so strong it lifted nearby cars off the ground.

The authorities have evacuated the area around the shop.

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