Several people have been wounded after an explosion caused damage to a number of buildings in Antwerp, Belgium. Police believe the incident is not terrorism related.
At least one building collapsed after an explosion rocked the Paardenmarkt area in Antwerp on Monday night. The explosion at the Italian restaurant Primavera was so powerful that it caused damage to three buildings.
At least five people were injured in the explosion, police spokesman Wouter Bruyns told local media, stressing “there are certainly still victims under the rubble.” The five injured are already receiving medical care as emergency services continue their work to rescue trapped survivors.
Police say between 10 and 20 people could have been inside the building at the time of the explosion. Emergency services established contact with three people still trapped under the rubble, as rescue crews continue to work under “extremely dangerous conditions.” Rescue teams deployed canine units and ladder trucks to sniff out and locate the victims.
Authorities have launched an investigation into the cause of the blast, which happened shortly after 9:30pm local time. While the cause of the blast has not yet been established, police say the explosion was “certainly not about terrorism.” With terrorism ruled out, the incident was most likely caused by a gas explosion. The Paardenmarkt is located in the center of Antwerp and is known as the city’s student hub.