Eight bodies found in debris of house destroyed by gas blast in Poland

"The rescue operation is being carried out in very difficult conditions,” said Silesian provincial governor Jarosław Wieczorek. Andrzej Grygiel/PAP

Eight bodies of four adults and four children have been found by rescuers in the debris of a house destroyed by a gas explosion in the town of Szczyrk, southern Poland, Silesian provincial governor Jarosław Wieczorek reported on Thursday noon.

"The rescue operation is being carried out in very difficult conditions. On the one hand, there are difficult weather conditions and smoke. Rescuers continue to comb through the debris by hand. (...) Heavy equipment cannot be used," Wieczorek said, adding that at the moment of the explosion there could have been eight persons in the house.

Nine people lived in the house. One person was not at home at the time of the explosion on Wednesday evening. Prosecutors and police crime scene investigators are at the site. Around 100 firefighters and 50 policemen are taking part in the rescue operation.

The Polish Gas Company (PSG) informed PAP on Wednesday night that "the most probable cause of the gas explosion in Szczyrk was damage to a gas pipeline done during work conducted by AQUA System."

PGS reported that a special commission "has been set up to examine the cause of the explosion. The results of its work should be known in 24 hours."

Szczyrk is a mountain resort in southern Poland.