An explosion blows away the upper part of a building near Antwerp, at least one person has lost his life

An explosion blows away the upper part of a building near Antwerp, at least one person has lost his life
An explosion blows away the upper part of a building near Antwerp, at least one person has lost his life

Emergency services are still searching for at least four residents of the apartment building in the Antwerp district of Hoboken where a large explosion occurred Thursday morning, firefighters said at midday.

These are people living in the building who have not yet been able to be contacted. It is unknown if they are actually inside, as searches outside have not yet turned up anything.

In the meantime, it has been learned that the residents of the two apartments next to the partially destroyed building will have to spend the night elsewhere. The stability of their home is not in danger, but they would be too inconvenienced by the clearing work which is likely to last a long time.

Firefighters are currently busy clearing debris from surrounding roofs. A large crane also arrived to remove the roof of the affected building.

As a reminder, six people have so far been extricated from the rubble. One of them died and three others were seriously injured.

the scene of an explosion at the Sint-Bernardsesteenweg in Hoboken, Antwerp, Thursday 13 June 2024. The incident took place around 6.20am. Three floors of the building have collapsed. The emergency services are on the scene searching for people under the rubble. At least 6 people are reported injured. BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

The buildings around the building affected by the explosion were evacuated as a precaution, firefighters said. This decision was made due to debris on the roofs and significant damage to the windows. The structure of the buildings in question does not present any stability problems.

In the destroyed building, firefighters are currently only using a ladder truck to search from the outside for possible additional victims. Rescuers first tried to enter the building but falling debris forced them to give up, as the structure was too unstable in its current state.

the scene of an explosion at the Sint-Bernardsesteenweg in Hoboken, Antwerp, Thursday 13 June 2024. The incident took place around 6.20am. Three floors of the building have collapsed. The emergency services are on the scene searching for people under the rubble. At least 6 people are reported injured. BELGA PHOTO TIJS VANDERSTAPPEN
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