Two die in Antwerp as buildings collapse


An explosion caused two buildings to collapse in Antwerp’s student district last night, killing two people and injuring another 14

Cause of blast undetermined

Two residential buildings and a restaurant collapsed last night following an explosion in Antwerp. Two people died in the accident, and 14 more are in hospital, some with serious injuries.

Emergency services arrived at the scene at about 21.30 yesterday to find that two residential buildings had  collapsed. One was situated above Primavera pizzeria and the other sat adjacent to that structure.

The building were on Paardenmarkt in the north of the city centre and came down following an explosion. The cause of the explosion is not yet clear, but terrorism has been ruled out.

Two of the victims were missing overnight, and their bodies were found in the rubble this morning. Of the other 14 wounded, five are in serious condition and one is critical.

Paardenmarkt is near the main campus of Antwer University. It is a student area, and many students live in the street and surrounding neighbourhood.

Several surrounding buildings were also damaged in the blast. Emergency shelter is being sought for those who had to be evacuated.

“Our city experienced a terrible explosion tonight,” mayor Bart De Wever said on Twitter. “Thank you to the emergency services on site. A investigation will follow to determine the circumstances. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. Antwerp will support you.”

Photo: Dirk Waem/BELGA

This article was updated on Tuesday afternoon