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Explosion in Greece damages offices, stores in Athens, one person injured

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One person has been injured and several buildings extensively damaged by an explosion in central Athens that led to a fire early on Wednesday, officials and witnesses have said.

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One individual who suffered burns was taken to hospital, Giorgos Mathiopoulos, the head of workers at the National center for Emergency Care, told Skai TV.

The blast smashed windows and wrecked the facades of buildings along the major traffic artery of Syngrou Avenue, which links the city center to the southern suburbs, while damaging buildings up to 200 meters (656 ft) away.

Debris littered the street a day after a severe snowstorm swept the capital, disrupting traffic and stranding thousands of people.

At least 18 firefighters used seven engines to battle a blaze at one building and have nearly brought it under control, the fire brigade said.

It was not immediately clear what triggered the blast or the fire, officials said.

“We have a fire, there was a blast before that,” stated a fire brigade commander at the scene.

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