Turnhout gas explosion claimed 4 lives

During Friday evening and Friday night the emergency services were able to recover the remains of four people that had been identified as missing after the gas explosion at Turnhout in Antwerp Province. In addition to the four people that lost their lives in the explosion, another two people we rescued from the rubble alive. 

The first was taken to hospital for treatment not long after the explosion on Friday. Later in the day a second person, a woman, was freed from the rubble after having been trapped for around 10 hours. She too was taken to hospital. 

During her ordeal she was in constant touch with her rescuers. Although she was not badly injured, she was in a place that was difficult to reach. The instability of what was left of the building meant that extreme caution was required in the effort to rescue her. 

First a tunnel was made under the rubble. However, this proved to be too unstable and eventually machinery was used to clear the rubble and free the woman. The woman survived thanks to some of her furniture having taken the burnt of the explosion. Both she and the other survivor are reported to be in good health.

All the victims have been found

The Mayor of Turnhout Paul Van Miert (nationalist) told VRT News that the emergency services believe that there are no more victims and that everyone is no accounted for. The police are still at the scene. However, the Civil Protection Agency and the Fire Service have left.The cause of the explosion has still to be confirmed. 

However, the likelihood is that it was caused by gas. Rubble from the building will be examined and investigators will speak to the two survivors to see if they can shed any light on what happened.


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