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Dublin: 4 °C Friday 17 January, 2020

At least two dead and over a dozen injured in Belgium 'gas explosion'

The incident happened last night.

This image taken from the Twitter page of Sigrid Vermeulen shows a collapsed building in Antwerp, Belgium.
This image taken from the Twitter page of Sigrid Vermeulen shows a collapsed building in Antwerp, Belgium.
Image: AP/PA Images

AT LEAST TWO people have died and 14 injured after an explosion collapsed or severely damaged buildings in Belgium’s port city of Antwerp, said police, who ruled out terrorism as a cause.

Belgium’s French-language broadcaster RTBF reported that a gas leak was suspected as the cause of the blast at around 9:30pm (8.30pm Irish time), though it had yet to be confirmed.

Police said in a statement that 14 people were taken to hospitals, including one in critical condition and five in a serious condition.

They said emergency services pulled several people from the debris of the buildings in the Paardenmarkt area of central Antwerp, a Dutch-speaking northern city, but could not rule out finding others as searches continued.

Police said the explosion was not related to terrorism, while Belgium has been on a high state of alert since 16 people were killed in suicide bombings in the capital Brussels in March 2016.

Several buildings either collapsed or were badly damaged in the blast, police said.

© AFP 2018 

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