Apartment building explosion in Sweden, at least 20 injured

Police and firefighters in Goteburg, Sweden, said an apartment building explosion Tuesday morning injured at least 20 people, some seriously. Investigators have ruled out natural causes as the cause of the explosion.

Emergency officials said they were alerted to the explosion in the Annedal district, in central Gothenburg, at around 5am local time. The fire quickly spread to several units and as of midday firefighters were still working hard to extinguish the blaze.

Residents reported they were awakened by an explosion that shook the entire building, which was felt up to a city block. Witnesses said smoke filled the halls and stairs of the building, making it difficult for them to get out of the building. Police and firefighters managed to save many people, some climbing onto their apartment balconies. At least one person reportedly jumped from the building.

Some media reports said at least 16 people were rushed to hospital for treatment.

Investigators said the cause of the explosion was not yet known but a police spokesman told reporters that a gas pipeline or other “natural” cause had been ruled out.

An official at Goteburg’s emergency services told Swedish state television station SVT that the explosion appeared to have come from the courtyard of the apartment building, where the entrance gate is now destroyed. [em/jm]

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