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Prague building explosion injures up to 40 people

A police spokesman said the cause of the blast is more than likely a natural gas leak.

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Injured people leave a scene of an explosion in downtown Prague, Czech Republic, Monday, April 29, 2013. Police said a powerful explosion has damaged a building in the center of the Czech capital and they believe some people are buried in the rubble.

Petr David Josek/AP

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A powerful explosion badly damaged an office building in the center of the Czech capital Monday, injuring up to 40 people. Authorities believe people may still be buried in the rubble.

It was not certain what caused the blast in Divadelni Street, in Prague's Old Town, at about 10 a.m., but it was likely a natural gas explosion, police spokesman Tomas Hulan said. Tourists at the famed Charles Bridge also felt the blast.

The street was covered with rubble and was sealed off by police who also evacuated people from nearby buildings and closed a wide area around the explosion site.

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Zdenek Schwarz, head of the rescue service in Prague, said up to 40 people were injured, at least four of them seriously.

Rescue service spokeswoman Jirina Ernestova said there were foreigners among the injured but had no further details immediately.

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