Building collapse after explosion in Antwerp, Belgium

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An apparent gas explosion has ripped through a multi-story building in the Belgian city of Antwerp, causing a part of the building to collapse and injuring at least 5 people, officials say. Other victims may still be trapped.

The incident began just after 9:30 p.m. local time on Monday when emergency crews were called to reports of an explosion in a 4-story building on Paardenmarkt, which is located in the downtown area. The blast caused both the building and an adjacent building to collapse.

“The explosion on Paardenmarkt possibly involved three residences. There are multiple victims. Details about the number and the severity to follow,” police said. One official confirmed that at least 5 people were injured but added that other victims may be trapped under the rubble.

The ground floor of the building is home to a pizzeria, but it was not immediately clear whether the pizzeria had also collapsed.

A large number of emergency services are at the scene and the city’s disaster plan has been activated. Antwerp Police emphasized that there was no indication of a link to terrorism, and a local official said the blast may have been the result of a gas explosion.

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