25 Injured After Explosion in Residential Building in Gothenburg, Sweden, Reports Say
06:37 GMT 28.09.2021 (Updated: 07:46 GMT 28.09.2021)
The explosion occurred at about 5.00 a.m. local time on Tuesday in an apartment building in Annedal in central Gothenburg and caused fires in three stairwells.
At least 25 people are in hospital, and about 100 residents of the block of flats in the centre of Gothenburg, on the west coast of Sweden, were evacuated after the explosion, according to Swedish Radio.
“I woke up to the bang, I first thought it must be a firecracker. Then people started screaming hysterically. 'Get out!' Neighbours started knocked on the doors”, Tone Ploman, who lives nearby, told the newspaper Dagens Nyheter.
The causes of the explosion, and the exact building where it occurred, are unknown so far.
“We will wait until the rescue service assesses it safely on the spot. Then we will perform a technical investigation to determine what caused the explosion,” police spokesman Hans-Jörgen Ostler told Dagens Nyheter.
Jon Pile, operations manager at the rescue service, said that natural causes for the explosion can be ruled out. “It is not a gas leak but it is an explosion, it is still burning in several places”, he told Dagens Nyheter. Local woman Anja Almén described seeing “terrible smoke” and “a lot of debris on the street” the instance she woke up.
“When I came out of the stairwell, everything was pitch black. There is a large crack in the concrete itself, it was shaped like a V. It must have been a powerful explosion”, she told Dagens Nyheter.
“Hundreds have been evacuated, people have also jumped out of windows and landed in the courtyard”, Jon Pile, operations manager at the rescue service, told national broadcaster SVT.
After the initial explosion, fires broke out in several buildings, according to media reports. At least three of the victims were seriously injured.
"We have strong smoke development. We have staff from seven stations on the site, we are about fifty personnel at the moment,” Josefin Hybring, press spokesperson for the rescue service, told SVT, adding that the smoke is dangerous to inhale.
Emergency services and Swedish police are on site and working to evacuate people living in the area.
Police officers began an investigation into the incident in order to find out all the causes and circumstances of the explosion. The building was cordoned off.