Asbestos released in explosion, fire; many injured

A Rotterdam-Feyenoord fire department truck (AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia)A Rotterdam-Feyenoord fire department truck (AlfvanBeem/Wikimedia)

Three people have been taken to hospital after a fire broke out in a flat in Ridderkerk, Zuid Holland

Another five people were treated for smoke inhalation.

The fire followed an explosion in a home on the second floor of a flat complex on the Stadhouderslaan. The resident of that apartment has been taken to hospital with burn wounds. Part of the flat complex has been evacuated.

Some asbestos came free during the fire, regional news sites report. This has to be cleared by a specialized business. Residents in the area are being warned. "If you have walked on the street in front of he home last night or this morning, rinse your shoes with water."

The fire department has managed to get the fire under control fairly quickly. Six homes had to be evacuated, most of the residents were able to find a place to spend the night.

It is unclear what caused the explosion, which occurred at around 4 a.m. this morning, but it produced a lot of smoke, press office Novum reports.