The cause of the explosion was not yet clear by the afternoon, but police believe “something exploded that is not due to natural causes”, spokesperson Thomas Fuxborg told a press conference.
Sahlgrenska University Hospital stated that at least four of the people taken to hospital were seriously injured.
The four who were seriously injured included three women, aged in their 60s, 70s and 80s, and a man in his 50s.
“In total there are 16 people who have been admitted, of which four are seriously injured and the rest are lightly injured,” said hospital spokesperson Ingrid Fredriksson. Local media had previously reported that around 20 people had been hurt in the blast.
The explosion occurred at 5am on Tuesday morning and caused a fire in the building, filling three stairwells, multiple apartments and the building’s garage with smoke.
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At 9am, Greater Gothenburg’s Fire Department were still working to put out the fire and evacuate residents from affected areas, according to a press conference.
“The fire is still going and we do not have control over it yet,” said Jon Pile from the regional emergency services. However, emergency services did not judge there to be a risk of the blaze spreading to other nearby buildings.
It was unclear how many people required evacuation, but Pile said it was roughly 100 people; all residents of the affected building.
It is still unclear as to what caused the explosion and whereabouts it occurred in the building. The police have started preliminary investigations under the classification of ‘destruction causing public endangerment’. They do not currently have any suspects.
Police also opened a so-called special incident, meaning the standard police force requires extra resources.
Interior Minister Mikael Damberg told TT that it was “almost inconceivable” to see the pictures of the damaged apartment block and affected residents.
“There are many of us who now want answers to what has happened and the background and cause of this terrible event,” he said. “I have great confidence in the police and that they will put in in all the resources required to investigate what has happened.”