Three Italian firefighters were killed early Tuesday in a building explosion that appears to have been deliberate in the northwestern region of Piedmont.
Sky TG24 reported that the firefighters were responding to a report of an explosion in a disused section of a farm building in Alessandria province when a second, stronger blast occurred. Three other first responders were injured.
Prosecutor Enrico Cerci told reporters that a timer and a gas canister have been found in the rubble, which "makes us think that the explosion was deliberate." No motive was immediately clear.
One of the dead was buried under rubble, the body only recovered after hours of digging.
Italy's interior minister was due to visit the site later in the day, amid an outpouring of sympathy for the families of the dead and injured from Italian officials and authorities.
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