Three hurt in student flat explosion, fire in The Hague
An explosion and ensuing blaze sent firefighters en masse to a high-rise fire in The Hague. The fire was first reported at De Struyck, a student housing complex on Rijwijkseplein, shortly after 11:30 a.m.
Three people suffered injuries and were transported by ambulance to an area hospital, according to the regional emergency services post. Unconfirmed reports said their injuries were due to smoke inhalation. Seven others were treated and released at the scene.
“The exact cause of the explosion and the subsequent fire will be investigated,” the emergency office said in a statement. There was a great deal of confusion inside the building, with several residents telling newspaper De Telegraaf that they could not hear the fire alarm as corridors on the 13th floor filled with thick black smoke.
They also claimed firefighters told them to wait in their rooms but they ignored the order and tried to escape the 19-story building anyway, the newspaper said.
“Because this was a student flat, the fire brigade scaled up quickly to get enough people and equipment on site.” Within 15 minutes of firefighters arriving on scene, the alarm was elevated three times bringing out dozens of fire department personnel, police officers, and paramedics.
A trauma team was also dispatched to the scene by helicopter, just before a Grip 1 regional emergency was declared, where all personnel organize under a single commander. The Grip 1 was called off at about 12:30 p.m., and twenty minutes later the fire department announced the situation was under control.
It was not clear when residents would be allowed to return. A hotline was opened up for all affected students regardless of institution, said Leiden University. That number is +31 (0)71-5271132.