- An explosion shakes the residential district of Gothenburg
- At least 16 people hospitalized, four seriously injured
- Police say explosion is not due to “natural causes”
GOTHENBURG, Sweden, September 28 (Reuters) – Four people were seriously injured in an explosion and fire Tuesday in the Swedish city of Gothenburg and police are investigating whether an explosive device was placed at the scene.
At least 16 people were taken to hospital after the early morning explosion that burned down an apartment building in a central residential area. Firefighters pulled people out of the building while others used tied sheets to crouch down from balconies as gray smoke billowed from stairwells and windows.
Three women and a man were treated for serious injuries, said a spokesperson for Sahlgrenska University Hospital. Swedish public service radio SR reported that around 25 people had been taken to hospitals around Sweden’s second largest city.
The Nordic country has faced a surge in gang crime in recent years, with rival groups using explosives and guns to settle scores.
“It’s terrible,” Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told the TT news agency. “I have great confidence in the police authority and that they are using all necessary resources to sort out what has happened.”
Police, who opened an investigation, said the blaze was under control and the tenants had been evacuated. Emergency services ruled out a gas leak as the cause.
“We believe something has exploded which is not of natural cause,” police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg told a press conference, adding that something had “probably” been placed on it. the site of the explosion.
Emergency services said they were working to put out the fires in the building. They refrained from speculating on the cause of the explosion.
Anja Almen, who lives in the building, said she heard noise on the street just after 5 a.m., around 15 minutes after the explosion.
“I walked out onto the balcony and was shocked. There was smoke everywhere, at every stairwell,” she said by phone from a nearby church to which she and other tenants. were evacuated. “Fire trucks with ladders were pulling people from the apartments.”
A report released this year showed that over the past two decades, Sweden has gone from one of the lowest rates of gun violence in Europe to one of the highest. Read more
Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom; written by Niklas Pollard and Johan Ahlander; edited by Andrew Heavens and Timothy Heritage
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