Two apprehended for arson after serious fire at Uppsala school

Two girls have been apprehended for aggravated arson after a school in Uppsala, southern Sweden was partially destroyed in a major fire.

Two apprehended for arson after serious fire at Uppsala school
The fire burning at Gottsundaskolan. Photo: Staffan Claesson / TT

Two of the Gottsundaskolan's three buildings have been totally destroyed, but emergency services said that it should be possible to save the third building.

The alarm over the fire was raised at around 3am on Monday morning after an eyewitness contacted emergency services to report flames at the building. During the course of the morning, officers from five fire stations worked to fight the blaze, but by 7am it was clear that parts of the school building could not be saved.

“Two parts of the school have burned down. The roof and parts of the gables have fallen in. We will however be able to save the third part of the school,” said Mathias Häglund from Greater Stockholm's emergency services.

Häglund added that Gottsunda Church was located close to the school and for a while looked like it could be reached by the flames, but was now out of danger. The work to tame the blaze at the school, though, was expected to last through Monday morning.

Two people suspected for aggravated arson were apprehended at the scene following witness reports, local newspaper Upsala Nya Tidning reported. Police officer Linda Winge told the newspaper that both were girls born in the early 2000s.


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Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden.