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WOODSTOCK, Ontario (AP) -- Seven people remain unaccounted for Sunday after a fiery explosion reduced a Canadian apartment building to crushed bricks and charred wood.

With a large part of the three-story building now turned to a pile of smoldering rubble, police said the outlook for those missing was grim.

"If we don't have any fatalities, I'll be very surprised," Woodstock police Sgt. Marvin Massecar said late Sunday. Woodstock is about 135 miles (217 kilometers) northeast of Windsor, and the U.S. city of Detroit.

Raging flames tore through the building after nearby residents reported hearing a thunderous explosion and feeling the ground shudder early Sunday morning. Plumes of black smoke could be seen from the distance as fire crews worked to douse the blaze.

Seven people, including a firefighter, were injured in the blaze, police said. Six of those hurt were treated at Woodstock General Hospital and released. One person remained in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

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NATO's commander for Libya deflected suggestions Monday that international airstrikes against Moammar Gadhafi's forces were essentially providing air cover for advancing rebels, insisting that NATO's mission is purely designed to protect civilians.

Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard of Canada told a press conference that the military alliance was in the process of taking over command from the U.S.-led operation after NATO's 28 members agreed Sunday to the transition. He declined to say how long it would take, saying it was complex and still being coordinated, though officials in Brussels have said it would be a few days.

And more tests: The 32nd anniversary of the partial meltdown at Three Mile Island is being marked at the plant with prayers for Japan.

WGAL-TV reports about 30 people gathered early Monday outside the nuclear plant near Harrisburg for a vigil to remember the worst commercial nuclear power plant accident in U.S. history.

An equipment failure and operator errors led to partial core meltdown at the plant's Unit 2 reactor around 4 a.m. on March 28, 1979.


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