PRAGUE - An explosion in central Prague on Monday, probably caused by gas, injured as many as 40 people, officials said, and neighboring buildings - including the National Theatre - had to be evacuated.
The explosion, in a building facing the Vltava river just a few dozen meters (yards) from the 19th-century theater, was heard as far away as Prague Castle about a mile (1.6 km) away.
A police spokesman said the blast was probably caused by gas and that there had been about 15 people in the building, which included an office of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and an art gallery.
"We estimate up to 40 people were injured," Zdenek Schwarz, the chief of Prague paramedics, said on Czech Television.
"These are mostly light injuries, cuts, bruises, injuries from glass. We estimate no more than four seriously injured, but this is preliminary information," he said.
An emergency services spokeswoman said some people may have been trapped in the building, which belongs to the Czech Air Navigation Services company.