Explosions rip through French hospital wing under construction, patients evacuated

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A hospital has been evacuated after two explosions, believed to have been sparked by gas cylinders, with the facility in southern France going up in flames.

The hospital, in the town of Annonay in southern France, was consumed by thick black smoke this afternoon.

The smoke spread across the town despite the best efforts of 80 firefighters at the scene to control the blaze.

Local media has reported that two gas bottles, filled with highly flammable acetylene, were in the annex of part of the hospital which was under construction, when the explosion occurred.

Authorities have now released a statement saying the fire is now out.

The majority of the hospital’s 650 patients were evacuated to protect them from suffering smoke inhalation with 80 transferred to buildings on the outskirts of the main hospital building.

The dramatic moment that the second explosion occurred was caught on video with people seen running from the blaze.

French emergency services released a statement just hours after the blaze, saying three workers who were present at the building site were being treated for smoke inhalation.

The statement said the ground floor and the first floor of the building were evacuated.

Two women were giving birth at the time of the explosion with the new mothers in good health.

Firefighters have since been able to contain the fire while remaining cautious of any further explosions in the hot wreckage of the hospital.

One resident who lived in the town told local media that they heard and even felt the blast downtown.

This story first appeared in The Sun.