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Several injured in massive gas explosion after man's second suicide attempt in one week

The scene of the explosion
The scene of the explosion

A gas explosion linked to an apparent attempted suicide tore through an apartment building in the French city of Dijon, injuring at least 14 people, authorities said.

A local deputy prosecutor said the violent explosion was apparently caused by a man who used several gas cylinders in an attempt to take his own life for the second time this week.

"We are in the presence of someone who had suicidal intentions, but at the same time also intended to take perhaps a lot of people with him," said Dijon deputy prosecutor Thierry Bas on BFM television.

Police and rescue officers had been to the man's home and taken him to a hospital after he first tried to kill himself on Wednesday, Mr Bas said.

The man and another person were seriously injured in Friday's explosion, while 12 others suffered lesser injuries, he added.

The explosion near a train station caused the three-storey building with two-dozen apartments to collapse; however, authorities do not think anyone is missing under the rubble.

Dijon Mayor Francois Rebsamen told the BFM and i-Tele news channels that witnesses described smelling a strong odour of gas before the explosion. He said it was "not an attack".