Raging fire at Leiden hospital building extinguished [update]
A massive fire broke out after an (suspected) explosion near the Leiden University Medical Center today, the Safety Region Hollands-Midden reports.
The first reports of the fire came in around 11:20 a.m. The fire took place in a rooftop engineering room separate from both the hospital and the blood bank, the Hollands Midden regional fire department office stated on Twitter. They also said there were no explosions, contrary to what several eyewitnesses reported hearing. Instead, the fire department said snapping plastic roofing material caused the popping sounds. Initial reports suggested that the fire is at the Sanquin Bloedvoorziening blood bank and research facility on Plesmanlaan in Leiden. The building is located next to the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). Operations inside the LUMC were not affected, but accessing the hospital from the street is difficult, a hospital spokesperson told AD. Firefighters declared the blaze extinguished just before 12:30 p.m. Emergency services is working with the hospital to prevent damage from water used to combat the fire. Blood donors and employees were ordered out of the Sanquin building, and an LUMC auxiliary building was similarly evacuated. No injuries were reported as of 12:30 p.m. The fire was quickly raised to a Grip 1 regional emergency at 11:27 a.m., and then escalated to a Grip 2 at 11:41 a.m.
Authorities declare a Grip 2 alarm for emergency incidents that potentially affect the immediate area. It brings together the people in charge of all responding services and designates a single commander. The mayor of the affected urban area is also kept informed, with both regional and municipal teams determining next steps. Sanquin's facility also borders a railroad route that leads to the Leiden Centraal train station. There are no train delays because of the incident, and smoke is being blown away from the train station, says Inge Rijgersberg, spokeswoman for national railway NS. "If there are any problems or delays we will update it on our app and our website," she tells the NL Times. Passengers may also find current information on the NS official Twitter account. Thanks to Maxime Zech for notifying us of the incident. Taneli Savela, Dries Arnolds and Zack Newmark contributed to this report. https://twitter.com/SJLvandertuin/status/563284521437888514 https://twitter.com/brwValkenburg/status/563285833772711936 https://twitter.com/alexanderbakker/status/563285890475515904 https://twitter.com/resourcerer/status/563287010451128321