Explosion damages offices and shops in Athens; 3 injured

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Firefighters are using aerial ladders to search for anyone possibly trapped inside damaged buildings following an explosion in central Athens, about 200 meters from the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus. An explosion injured three and severely damaged an office building and destroyed nearby store fronts in a busy area of ​​central Athens. (AP Photo/Derek Gatopoulos)

ATHENS – An explosion injured three and severely damaged an office building while smashing nearby storefronts in a busy area of ​​central Athens early Wednesday.

Firefighters said a 77-year-old man was hospitalized with burns. Two others received medical attention for smoke inhalation.

The pre-dawn blast occurred 200 meters from the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus on busy Syngrou Avenue.

Firefighters were using aerial ladders to search for anyone possibly trapped inside the damaged buildings. At dawn, they forced their way into the damaged stores to free several people trapped inside.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.


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