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Gas Leak Suspected After Dozens Injured By Blast In Prague

An explosion at an office building in the the Czech capital on Monday injured at least several dozen people and may have left some victims trapped in rubble.

The early thinking was that a natural gas leak led to the disaster in the center of Prague, police spokesman Tomas Hulan said, according to The Associated Press.

Radio Free Europe reported that "Prague's mayor, Bohuslav Svoboda, was quoted as saying from the scene that there were fears that 'three or so' people might still be inside the structure." While the AP was initially saying that "up to 40 people" were injured, CNN was reporting that fire officials said "at least 55 people" were hurt.

"The blast occurred in a building near the National Theater, not far from the Vltava River," Radio Free Europe said. It added that "the explosion shattered the windows of nearby buildings and was reportedly heard a kilometer away."

We'll monitor reports about the explosion and update as developments warrant.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.

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