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Man dies as blast levels French building

French rescue workers have dug out the body of a man but rescued his baby and the child’s mother alive from the rubble of a three-storey apartment building that collapsed in a suspected gas explosion on southern France’s Mediterranean coast.

Two other people are missing in Sanary-sur-Mer.

The baby, around 10 months old, was located by sniffer dogs and extracted by rescue workers who dug their way through the giant pile of debris, fire department Captain Aurelia Mannaioni said.

The top regional government official said rescue workers were also led to the baby’s location by its cries.

The baby’s father was found dead by its side.

The child was sent to a hospital for treatment of injuries, Mannaioni said.

The child’s mother also was rescued and was hospitalised in serious condition, she said.

The body of a man in his 30s was found in the rubble, Mannaioni said.

He was the father of the rescued child, she said.

Searches were continuing for two other people unaccounted-for in the overnight blast in the coastal town, Mannaioni said.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear but regional authorities said first responders noticed a strong smell of gas at the scene.

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