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Seven including new born baby killed after explosion and fire in southern France

Picture courtesy: Sky news

At least seven people, including two children, have died after an explosion sent fire raging through a building in southern France.

One of the victims of the blaze that started in a three-story building in the coastal town of Saint-Laurent-de-la-Salanque, north-east of Perpignan, was reported to be a baby.

The French interior minister, Gerald Darmanin, travelled to the scene on Wednesday and said around 30 people had been wounded or suffered psychological trauma from the incident.

The explosion happened around 1.30 am local time and was believed to have occurred on the ground floor, which housed a grocery store and a fast-food takeaway. Flames quickly engulfed the building. The fire then spread to neighbouring buildings.

What caused the explosion is the possibility that gas cylinders may have been present in the shop. An investigation is underway into the cause.

One man who jumped from the second floor to escape the flames was said to be in a critical condition in hospital. Three other people were also injured.

Just under 100 firefighters were called to the scene in the early hours of Monday.

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