Bodies of three people missing in massive apartment & factory fire recovered
The bodies of three people have been found following a massive fire that swept through an apartment complex and an interior furnishings factory and carpentry warehouse in Werkendam, Noord-Brabant on Sunday morning. The three who died were believed to be migrant workers staying in the company apartments above the commercial facility. Others staying in adjacent apartments, including the son of the company director, made it out safely.
“As soon as it was safe for emergency services to enter the property, police found two bodies in the burnt-out apartment. Later in the evening, a third body was found with the help of a tracking dog,” the Midden- and West-Brabant emergency services office said in a statement.
The fire was first reported at around 8 a.m. on Sunday in one of the apartments, and it spread to other apartments and the business below, the office stated. Timber, wood furnishings and other flammable material was stored at the business.
The fire brigade deployed 200 to 250 firefighters and 33 vehicles, including fire-fighting vehicles, aerial platforms and a drone. A fireboat from the neighboring Zuid-Holland Zuid Safety Region was also used.
The fire brigade managed to get the fire under control at 3:45 p.m. At that time, the office said, “It was still not safe enough for firefighters to enter and search for possible casualties.” A statement about the situation continued to say that, “Due to the risk of collapse, the building had to be propped up and secured before the fire brigade could enter to search for possible victims.”
It was also reported on Twitter that a nearby church in Werkendam was evacuated because of the smoke nuisance.
The cause of the fire was not yet announced by Monday morning.