25 families forced to leave their flats after they are declared uninhabitable

25 families from Sint-Truiden in Limburg province are have been forced to leave their homes after they were declared unsafe to live in. The flats that are just 6 years old have been found to be a fire hazard and are in danger of collapse.

 

The wooden construction around which the flats are built is rotten and a building safety expert has said that the flats are in danger of collapse. 

In 2015 a total of 179 flats, 30 houses and three commercial premises were built on a former industrial site in the Brutsem area of Sint-Truiden. While the project was being built the wood used for the wooden construction and the wood used for the wooden floors in the flats was left out exposed in all weathers.

During this time the wood absorbed a lot of moisture. Once the apartments were completed the wood was enclosed and the moisture had no means of escape. Consequently, the wood started to rot. Last week the Acting Mayor of Sint-Truiden Jelle Engelbosch (nationalist) received an alarming report from the Fire Service. The report said that situation at the flats was not safe and they should be vacated as quickly as possible.

The Fire Service report stated that fire safety at the flats could no longer be guaranteed. “In addition to this the engineer says that in time there will be stability issues. He didn’t say how long it would be before this is the case but did say that there is a safety risk. I of course had to act and ensure that the building was evacuated without delay”, Mr Engelbosch told VRT News. Most of the 25 household that have been forced to leave their homes have found alternative accommodation. However, the local social services are still looking for accommodation for 8 families from the flats.  

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