Apartment explosion in Venlo injures 1, dozens homeless

Two explosions in an apartment building on Gulikstraat in Venlo (Picture: Twitter/@abrouwer17). (Two explosions in an apartment building on Gulikstraat in Venlo (Picture: Twitter/@abrouwer17))

An apartment building on Gulikstraat in Venlo was hit by two explosions on Sunday night. At least on person was injured. He was taken to the hospital with burn wounds.

The emergency services were alerted that there was an accident with gas shortly before 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, NU reports.  A fire broke out after the explosions. Firefighters managed to get the fire under control around 9:15 p.m. The fire department is still investigating the cause of the explosions.

There are 96 apartments in the apartment building that had to be evacuated. The about 100 evacuated residents spent some time in uncertainty on whether or not they would be able to return home on Sunday night. Around 11:00 p.m. Venlo mayor Antoin Scholten announced that 6 apartments - the one in which the explosions happened and 5 apartments situated above it - are uninhabitable, AD reports. The majority of residents were allowed to return home. The about 15 residents of the uninhabitable apartments were offered shelter at a hotel.

Witnesses told press agency ANP that the front and back of one apartment was blown off the building. Thick clouds of black smoke could be seen in a wide area around the apartment building.