Gas line theft possible cause in apartment explosion

Explosion in Heerlen (Picture: Twitter/@MCMH1990)Explosion in Heerlen (Picture: Twitter/@MCMH1990)

Police investigating the violent explosion of a Heerlen apartment building think part of the gas line leading to the building was stolen. The alleged theft is a possible cause of the incident, police announced Friday.

The police are looking for witnesses of the incident, or anyone who spotted something unusual or suspicious near the building in the days and nights leading up to the explosion.

The explosion took place on Monday after 8 a.m., in a building located on Van Weerden Poelmanstraat. Three people were injured in the blast, which leveled 18 apartments causing 1.8 million euros in damage.

Investigators were already working on a reconstruction of the scene later that day. A forensic examination of the evidence is ongoing.

Building owners and occupants began sifting through the debris and cleaning up the area on Thursday. Asbestos material on site forced authorities to keep people away from the location earlier in the week.