Several are seriously injured and hundreds of residents evacuated, after a powerful explosion triggered a large fire in an apartment building early Tuesday morning.
The explosion in the apartment block took place just before five o’clock in Annedal in central Gothenburg.
According to the news agency TT, Sahlgrenska University Hospital states on Tuesday afternoon that four people are seriously injured, but none of them are in danger of death. Three receive intensive care.
Residents jumped out of windows and lingered in the backyard during the dramatic fire.
A gas leak or an explosive charge is the police’s main trail, according to Göteborgs-Posten.
– We believe that something has exploded that is not for natural reasons, says spokesman Thomas Fuxborg at the police in Gothenburg at 10.30.
1 of 6Photo: BJORN LARSSON ROSVALL / TT
SMS: – I love you
Per Bäcklund’s daughter Lise (36) lives in the apartment building in Husvre Husargatan. He tells Expressen:
– I received a text message from our daughter 05.15: “I love you”. I replied “Are you awake so early?” Then I got the answer that it is burning in the house and I do not know if I will come out, says Bäcklund.
Bäcklund tells VG that he lives nearby, threw himself into the car and drove to the burning apartment building.
– We kept in touch via SMS, she talked to 112. She was instructed to stay on the floor in the apartment until they got her out.
Bäcklund pointed out his daughter’s balcony. Two smoke divers evacuated her by lift.
– I got to meet her and take care of her little dog, says Bäcklund.
The daughter could even go to the stretcher. She was taken to hospital with smoke injuries. This morning, Bäcklund takes her pug to the vet for a check-up.
– Of course I was afraid of her, but I was calm when I talked to the rescue service. Afterwards, when things had gone well, the adrenaline rush eased. Then I cried, quite simply, says Per Bäcklund to VG.
– Known lots of fire smoke
Lars-Gunnar Wolmesjö (64) woke up in his fifties from what he describes as a very bad thing.
– I was in a hurry to see what it was. Then I felt a lot of fire smoke, got dressed and took the most important things with me, Wolmesjö says to VG.
He himself had the opportunity to get out, but discovered on the way that the neighbor opposite was stuck on the balcony with his little son.
– He lifted the boy down and then I also helped my dad down, the 64-year-old says.
Jumped from the balconies
Several other neighbors also stood out on the balconies, and some of them jumped down on the street.
– A resourceful neighbor who happens to be a firefighter came and said that they had to stay standing and not jump. Then a ladder car came and helped them.
Wolmesjö says he has no idea what has happened, but that there is burning and smoke coming from several of the apartments and from a sports shop on the street level.
He himself witnessed that ambulance personnel took care of injured people.
– They carried out a woman who was burnt, Wolmesjö says.
– No one arrested
The fire triggered a massive rescue operation, with 20-30 ambulances and fire trucks. Three stairwells with apartments were filled with smoke. 100-200 people were evacuated.
The rescue service informs at 13 o’clock on Tuesday that the fire is under control.
– The fire triggered a strong spread of fire gases in the building, says rescue leader in the fire service Martin Lindsten at 10.30.
He states that the fire service is working on a fire at street level, but can not rule out that it is burning in several places inside the large apartment building.
– As we do not know for sure if there are more fires, I do not want to say that we have full control, Lindsten says at the press conference.
A firefighter must be slightly injured, reports Expressen.
The police have begun an investigation into so-called public destruction. The cause of the explosion and the extent of the damage are currently unclear.
– No one has been arrested or suspected, says police spokesman Stefan Gustafsson to VG.
– More or less chaos
Another resident is Kristoffer, who was awakened by the cohabitant.
– Then I went out on the balcony, and then there was black smoke coming from somewhere. The whole ascent was smoky, says Kristoffer Expressen.
He tells of chaos, when everyone tried to get out of the apartment block.
– There were some who shouted out in the backyard to wake people. It was more or less chaos. People were screaming and everyone wanted to go out, and there were people on the balconies.