More than 30 people injured in explosion at Italian asylum centre

Thirty-one people were injured after an explosion, "probably as a result of a gas leak", in a building housing asylum seekers in central Italy, the fire brigade said on Saturday.

A video published by the fire brigade shows parts of the two-storey building in San Lorenzo Nuovo, near Viterbo, in the Lazio region of Central Italy, reduced to rubble after the explosion that occurred shortly before midnight on Friday evening.

The fire brigade said in a statement that there had been an "explosion and partial collapse" of the building, described as a reception centre for asylum seekers, "probably as a result of a gas leak".

After searches overnight, including with the help of dogs, the number of people injured has risen to 31.

One person in a serious condition was taken by helicopter to a Rome hospital and is currently in a coma, according to the Ansa press agency.

Ansa also said the building was made up of mini-apartments housing asylum seekers, mainly men but also women without children.

An investigation into the cause of the explosion is underway.