Man rescued from Hague building collapse in intensive care after surgeries

Dutch emergency services in action
Dutch emergency services in action. (Photo: Dolfilms/DepositPhotos)

A 28-year-old man rescued after being trapped in the rubble of a collapsed house in The Hague for eight hours on Sunday, is currently in intensive care in hospital. He had surgery done on both his legs, but is doing well under the circumstances, his cousin told broadcaster NOS. 

The building on Jan van der Heijdenstraat collapsed after a gas explosion on Sunday. Ten people were injured, eight of whom were hospitalized. Firefighters rescued four people from the rubble. It took rescue workers around eight hours to reach the 28-year-old man. They kept contact with him through a two-way radio, which was taken to the trapped man by a specially trained dog.

A total of 27 homes on the street were evacuated after the blast. Around 30 people spent the night in a hotel. The residents can not return to their homes for the time being - not even to collect personal belongings. The blast damaged a number of adjacent buildings, leaving them unstable, NU.nl reports. 

The fire department and building inspectors will check the condition of the buildings on Jan van der Heijdenstraat during the course of Monday. If the buildings are stable enough for residents to go in and collect their belongings, this will be allowed under supervision. 

Mayor Pauline Krikke visited the evacuated residents on Sunday night and again on Monday morning. "Just like last night I talked extensively with people. After the first great shock, it is now slowly and fiercely penetrating what they experienced and what happened to them", she said, according to the newspaper. 

The police guarded the homes on Jan van der Heijdenstraat during the night. The blast broke the windows of many homes, making them vulnerable to break-ins. The street is littered with glass and will be closed to traffic until at least 3:00 p.m. on Monday. 

The total extent of the damage caused is not yet clear. The Salvage Foundation set up an information point on behalf of the insurers, where residents can get information about the damage. Those affected can also contact their own insurance companies themselves, the municipality said. 

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