Boy, 5, rescued from explosion now doing better

Firefighters
File photo of firefighters in Gelderland. 14 January 2007.Brandweer Dodewaard / Wikimedia Commons

The medical condition of a five-year-old boy who was pulled from the rubble of a building explosion is improving. Kenan was saved after a five-hour ordeal in Coevorden, Drenthe on Saturday by emergency responders and specialists.

"This afternoon I received a message from a happy family that Kenan is doing well," wrote Coevorden mayor Bert Bouwmesster on Twitter. "He is no longer in intensive care and is likely to leave the hospital in a few days."

The mayor also said Kenan's father, who was also injured in Saturday's 3 p.m. explosion, was due to be released from the hospital. He is reportedly the owner of the Ali Baba grill restaurant where the incident took place.

Kenan "was wedged between the wooden beams on the top floor. Those beams remained on one side on a wall, creating a very small space between the rubble," said Sietse Smit, the leader of the specialist team that helped rescue the child. In speaking with broadcaster NOS, Smit said that their focus was on stabilizing the debris, carefully breaking up the large pieces that were covering him, and keeping him warm.

"Someone gave us an electric heater and blankets came out of the ambulances. That way we could make the temperature somewhat comfortable, so that the victim would not get cold," Smit said to NOS.

Both Kenan and his father were transported by ambulance in serious condition. 

The cause of the explosion was still under investigation, with forensic technicians expected to continue their research into the case on Monday, the Telegraaf reported. The scene of the blast was still cordoned off on Sunday night, as neighboring residents were first allowed back into their buildings to collect some belongings.

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