Blast kills at least 2, injures 14 in Belgium, terrorism ruled out, say police

A photo from the scene posted to social media.
A photo from the scene posted to social media.PHOTO: TWITTER

BRUSSELS (REUTERS, AFP)- Two people were killed and 14 injured when an explosion in the Belgian port city of Antwerp destroyed three buildings.

Police said two bodies were found under the debris on Tuesday (Jan 16) following the blast on Monday evening.

Five people were seriously injured and another was in a critical condition after the explosion in a part of the city where many students live.

Police has 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 (2030 GMT) Monday, 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.