Explosion and fire without ‘no natural explanation’ damage 16 in Sweden, while the police are chasing clues
By Hannah Ritchie, CNN
Sixteen people have been injured – four of them critically – after an explosion led to a large fire in an apartment building in the city of Gothenburg, the rescue service told CNN on Monday.
The blast occurred at 04.45 local time, according to Swedish police who are investigating the cause of the explosion.
– The fire brigade has confirmed that there is no gas in the building, so we have ruled out a gas leak at the moment, says Stefan Gustafsson, spokesman for Sweden’s western regional police.
“There is no natural explanation for the explosion,” Gustafsson said.
A total of 16 people have been sent to hospital, with the possibility that “more people will be admitted, we do not know yet”, says a press officer at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg to CNN.
Search for evidence
The fire is under control and forensic scientists are now investigating the site for evidence, Swedish police told CNN.
Police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg, who is at the scene of the incident, told reporters that something “probably” had been placed in the apartment complex.
In recent years, gang violence has increased in Sweden, with both homemade explosive devices and weapons previously used by rival gangs to resolve disputes.
Sweden has one of the highest numbers of gun murders in Europe due to the steady increase in violent activities from organized gangs. In 2019, 257 attacks with explosives were reported in the Nordic country, according to information from the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
The Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, reported that one of the residents in the apartment building where the explosion took place was involved in a witness protection program, but police officers that CNN spoke to did not want to comment on the statement.
“We can not say anything about who lived in the building while the investigation is ongoing, it is against the law,” Gustafsson said.
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