Gothenburg blast: Explosion ‘not due to natural causes’, say police

At least 16 people have been reportedly admitted to hospital after an explosion in an apartment building in central Gothenburg, which police are investigating as a potential crime.

Gothenburg blast: Explosion 'not due to natural causes', say police
Smoke rises out of the central Gothenburg apartment block that was hit by an explosion on Tuesday morning. Photo: Björn Larsson Rosvall / TT

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.

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.”

Member comments

  1. Sweden:
    Minister Mikael Damberg told TT that it was “almost inconceivable” to see the pictures of the damaged apartment block and affected residents.

    Inconceivable…Funny. Sweden is an international leader in explosions. Seems quite conceivable.

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Red-green coalition takes power in Gothenburg

The Social Democrats, Green Party and Left Party have managed to oust the right-wing Moderates from power in Gothenburg, despite failing to strike a coalition deal with the Centre Party.

Red-green coalition takes power in Gothenburg

The Social Democrats, Left Party and Green Party will now take over the municipality with Jonas Attenius, group leader for the Social Democrats in the city, becoming the new mayor.

“We three parties are ready to together take responsibility for leading Gothenburg,” Attenius wrote to TT. “I am looking forward immensely to leading Gothenburg in the coming years.” 

The three parties will lead a minority government, with 40 out of 81 mandates, meaning it will dependent on mandates from the Centre Party to pass proposals. 

The three parties had hoped to bring the Centre Party into the coalition, but talks fell apart on Monday,  October 24th. 

“We our going into opposition, but our goal is to be an independent, liberal force, which can negotiate both to the left and to the right,” the party’s group leader in Gothenburg, Emmyly Bönfors told the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper. 

The end of talks in Gothenburg leave the Social Democrats leading coalition governments in all three of Sweden’s major cities, with Karin Wanngård appointed Mayor of Stockholm on October 17th. 

The Social Democrats had unbroken control in Malmö since 1994, after they regained power from the Moderates, who controlled the city from 1991-1994, and also from 1985-1988.