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Explosion damages offices, stores in Athens

ATHENS, GREECE (AP) – An explosion seriously damaged an office block and smashed nearby storefronts in a busy part of central Athens early yesterday with no immediate reports of any injuries.

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

Firefighters were using aerial ladders to look for anyone possibly trapped inside the damaged buildings.

As dawn broke, they forced their way into damaged stores to free several people trapped inside.

The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

Traffic was halted in the area.

Firefighters use aerial ladders to look for people trapped inside damaged buildings following an explosion in Athens. PHOTO: AP