Three dead, dozens injured in Chile hospital blast

SANTIAGO – At least three people have died and around 50 injured in a gas explosion at a hospital in the Chilean city of Concepción, the local chief of police told media on Friday.

Speaking to the Cooperativa radio station, Rodrigo Medina said others had also been injured in the explosion at Clinica Sanatorio Aleman.

Photos circulating on other media showed severe damage to buildings.

Mayor Alvaro Ortiz told the La Tercera newspaper that there had been a gas leak in the hospital before the explosion.

A gas company had checked the pipes and ordered an evacuation of the hospital.

The explosion happened as the doctors and patients were returning to the building, he said.

The hospital was completely evacuated and patients were transferred to other health centers in the city.

The Carabineros de Chile said on Twitter that the explosion was due to a gas leak.

President Sebastián Piñera sent his “condolences to the victims and their relatives” through social media.

The Clinica Sanatorio Aleman was founded in 1997 by German-born physicians in Concepcion in central Chile, south-west of the capital Santiago.

The hospital says it is one of the biggest in the region.