Fire in the Kennedy Tower in Liège: the hoisting of stranded residents has begun (photos and videos)

Fire in the Kennedy Tower in Liège: the hoisting of stranded residents has begun (photos and videos)
Fire in the Kennedy Tower in Liège: the hoisting of stranded residents has begun (photos and videos)

On site, firefighters initially asked residents to remain confined during the intervention in this 85 meter high tower. The 260 occupants were then evacuated around 4 p.m.

The municipal emergency plan was triggered by the city of Liège. Significant medical resources have been deployed. According to the police, there were no injuries. A security perimeter has been set up around the building.

“It’s burning everywhere”

Firefighters are not expected to control the fire underway in the Kennedy Tower in Liège for one to two hours, estimates fire captain Denis Honders, who is leading the operations. Around fifty firefighters from the Liège and Verviers emergency zones are currently mobilized on site.

A 60-meter ladder called for reinforcements arrived from Antwerp shortly after 7 p.m. “The fire extended over the entire height of the building,” Denis Honders told the Belga agency. “The difficulty of the fire relates to the typology of the tower which is very high. So it is very complicated for us to bring water to the upper point of the building, but also for the firefighters to move within the building. »

The fire started in the cellar and spread throughout the building via the electrical ducts. In addition to the burning cables, the disaster caused a lot of smoke, which blocked the stairwell and prevented the residents still present from leaving the premises. Some residents are still stuck, particularly on the upper floors of the tower, which has 250 apartments, Belga noted.

A crisis center has been set up at the Athénée Charles Rogier (Liège 1) where residents are taken care of. In total, eighteen people were received at the advanced medical post. Three people were hospitalized.

The helicopter hoisting of stranded residents has begun

The hoisting of residents stuck in the Kennedy Tower began on Thursday shortly after 8:30 p.m., Belga noted on site. Occupants on the top floors had previously been advised to position themselves on their balconies.

Earlier in the evening, a reinforcement of helicopters from National Defense and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was announced. One helicopter has since begun airlift operations while a second has dropped off a team of firefighters on the roof of the building.

On the ground, reinforcements from the Antwerp and Brussels emergency zone also arrived on site with their large 60-meter ladders. Around fifty firefighters from the Liège and Verviers emergency zones are also mobilized.

Nearly 70 people relocated to hotels or to the Cointe Omnisport hall

Nearly 70 residents of the Kennedy Tower will be relocated to hotels or to the Omnisport hall in Cointe, the Liège police announced on Monday evening. The majority of the other evacuees have already found refuge with their loved ones. Five people were taken to hospital.

“A reinforcement of helicopters from National Defense and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is on the move to allow people still stuck in the building to be airlifted,” said the local police. Shortly after 8 p.m., a first helicopter arrived at the scene of the fire.

“The evacuation is still in progress. The top floors are still inaccessible. The occupants of these top floors must remain on their balconies,” underlines the Liège police. “Reinforcements from the Antwerp emergency zone, with large ladders, have arrived. Those from Brussels are on their way. »

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