At least five people died and dozens were injured in a gas explosion that rocked a high-rise apartment building in eastern Slovakia on Friday.

"Five people died and we estimated the number of injured at 40," Alena Krcova, a spokeswoman for the rescue services told AFP.

The blast in the eastern Slovak town of Presov, 400 kilometres (250 miles) from the capital Bratislava, took place at noon on Friday.

A hospital spokeswoman told local media that none of the nine blast casualties treated at the facility in the immediate aftermath of the explosion had been in a critical condition.

"The blast was followed by a fire that affected four or five floors" of the 12-storey building, firefighters told local media, warning that it was in danger of collapsing.

Firefighters evacuated an unknown number of people from the building, local police said in a post on their official Facebook page.

Sign up to our free newsletters

Get the best updates straight to your inbox:
Please select at least one mailing list.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By subscribing, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing.