Survivor pulled from Hague building collapse after 8-hour ordeal

Brandweer fire department Volkswagen
Stock image of a Dutch fire department Volkswagen vehiclephoto: cakifoto / DepositPhotos

Rescue workers in Den Haag saved a 28-year-old man who had been trapped under the rubble of a collapsed building for nearly eight hours. The person was transported away from the scene just after midnight on Monday, the fire department said. His condition was not revealed, but he was "approachable" and in communication with rescue workers since 6:50 p.m. on Sunday.

He was the fourth person to be pulled from the debris on Jan van der Heijdenstraat, where a natural gas explosion leveled a building. Ten people in total were treated for injuries, of which eight victims were hospitalized.

"I heard that my cousin is in a type of crawl space," Wiekash Ramgolam told AD on Sunday evening. The building is home to Ramgolam's aunt, uncle, and cousin, the 28-year-old victim. "There is no cellar under the house. He is stuck, and can not get loose." Ramgolam's aunt and uncle were under sedation at the hospital, and the uncle was being treated for burn wounds.

A team of emergency workers were trying to further stabilize the building soon after the 28-year-old was removed. Fire department officials said the plan after the rescue was to use trained dogs to try and find any other victims that might be trapped.

So far, rescue workers have had no indication that anyone else is in the building wreckage. About 20 homes were evacuated, and shelter was provided to roughly 30 people at a local hotel.

One person who wished to remain anonymous told broadcaster NOS that there was a smell of gas in the building for several days. The person, who claimed to be a resident of one of the affected buildings, said nothing was done about the issue.