Man who threatened to blow up Utrecht flat now evacuated

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No image availableNL Times

A man in Utrecht who threatened to blow up his own apartment was removed from the residence close to noon on Thursday and is in custody, RTV Utrecht reports. The incident was first called in around 9:40 a.m. that day from Nigerdreef in the Overvecht neighborhood.

Neighbors were told to leave their apartments, and a daycare in the building was also cleared, police said. A strong smell of gas was reported by responding police officers, according to broadcaster RTV Utrecht.

A police negotiator had earlier in the morning tried to talk to the man, according to police. A specialized arrest team was put in place, equipped with a battering ram and chainsaw to enter the man's ninth floor apartment, if necessary, the broadcaster stated.

Neighbors say the man may be in financial trouble. He was visited by a bailiff earlier today, the broadcaster wrote.

The situation had been elevated to a Grip 1 emergency by 9:58 a.m. That level of emergency requires the mayor to be kept informed of the situation, along with the regional and district commanders of the police and fire department.