(Stockholm) In an explosion that devastated a building in Gothenburg (West) early Tuesday, 16 people were injured, including four seriously, Swedish authorities said, after which initial indications suggest that it was not accidental.
Posted on Sep 28, 2021 at 6:29 am
Thick white smoke continued to rise from the building on Tuesday morning as ambulances, fire trucks and rescue teams flooded the area, according to images released in local media.
However, the cause of the explosion, which started a fire in central Gothenburg just before 5 a.m. (11 p.m. EDT Monday), is not yet known, police told AFP.
“The area is cordoned off and the relief operations are ongoing,” said Hans-Jörgen Östler, spokesman for the state police authority.
“As soon as the site is safe, we will open a technical investigation to determine the cause of the fire and explosion,” he added.
According to police sources quoted by the local family doctor newspaper, an explosive device may have been placed in front of one of the entrance gates.
Reached by AFP, relief operations leader John Pile stressed that “an explosion in a residential area, or an explosion in general, is not natural,” particularly that the building is not supplied with gas.
According to the facility’s spokeswoman, Ingrid Fredriksson, 16 people injured in the explosion and the ensuing fire were transported to Gothenburg University Hospital. Three women and one man were seriously injured.
“But it’s not certain that it won’t happen because the event is still ongoing,” she warned AFP just before 10 a.m. (4 p.m. EDT).
Sweden has been fighting the growth of criminal gangs for several years, which in particular has led to a high number of deadly shootings, explosions and settlements in an otherwise rather peaceful country.
In 2020, more than a hundred detonations and 102 other incidents related to attempted explosions or preparations were recorded in a country of just over 10 million people.