Major explosion rocks Antwerp

Major explosion rocks Antwerp
The scene of an explosion in the Osystraat, near the Franklin Rooseveltplaats, in Antwerp, Sunday 02 April 2023. The incident took place around 3am. Fifteen houses in the area have glass damage. One person was slightly injured. The police suspects this is a new act of violence within the drug environment. Credit: Belga/ Nicolas Maeterlinck

A violent explosion rocked Antwerp early on Sunday morning, causing extensive damage to nearby properties. In total, police now say that 20 homes were damaged by the blast.

The explosion took place at around 03:00 in the proximity of Franklin Roosevelt Square. One person was injured by flying glass. The blast is believed to have caused damage to houses on four separate streets, mostly shattering windows.

One property, likely the target of the explosion, is more extensively damaged. Five vehicles were also damaged. Firefighters attended the scene and a large security perimeter was erected.

The blast was so loud that many people were woken up and emerged from their homes. Emergency services have asked local residents to stay indoors as broken glass has littered the ground near the blast.

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A research lab and an explosives disposal team (SEDEE) are currently conducting an investigation at the scene of the crime.

The incident is, yet again, most likely linked to violence between drug gangs, police spokesperson Wouter Bruyns said. Nevertheless, no leads are being ruled out.

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