Two hurt in Nijmegen home explosion, car dealership fire; Dozens evacuated
With reporting by Zack Newmark.
An explosion in a Nijmegen home left one person injured Wednesday evening. It was the second of two major fire incidents the city faced, with fire having ripped through a car dealership earlier in the day.
The explosion took place just before 5 p.m., according to the Gelderland-Zuid emergency services office. One man who was rescued from beneath the rubble by a neighbor was given first aid at the scene. He was then transported to a nearby hospital.
There was "a great deal of damage to homes in the immediate vicinity" on Hillekensacker in Nijmegen's 't Acker district. The damage affected not just neighboring homes, but also homes across the street. The adjoining homes were evacuated shortly after emergency services personnel arrived on scene. More homes were evacuated in the hours that followed.
Heftig in Hillekensacker Nijmegen pic.twitter.com/GLKtvGASIw— Jeanknippinsr (@jeanknippinsr) May 13, 2020
Shelter was arranged for the dozens of people affected by the incident. Though first responders said there was no immediate danger to anyone in the neighborhood, they asked people to stay clear of the scene.
Fire in car dealership injures one
About 2.5 kilometers away, an employee sustained burn injuries at an auto garage in the Westkanaaldijk industrial estate near Nijmegen after a large fire engulfed the facility on Wednesday. Explosions and large clouds of smoke could be seen in several videos which circulated online over the course of the afternoon.
The cause of the fire remains unclear.
According to local news service De Gelderlander, the fire broke out at the Kardol Autobedrijf shortly before 2:30 p.m., where four employees were present at the time. One of the employees was injured by the blaze and needed to be rushed to hospital in an ambulance.
According to Gelderland-Zuid Regional Safety, the fire had been brought under control by 3:55 p.m.
The auto workshop reportedly contains oil products and electric and hybrid cars with battery packs, according to the newspaper. This, in turn, left the facility particularly vulnerable to a fire and offers an explanation for the amount of smoke generated by the fire.