At least 19 people injured in explosion in Swedish town

Buildings damaged and area cordoned off following blast

 

A powerful explosion in the southern Swedish town of Linkoping on Friday damaged buildings and injured 19 people, police and hospital staff said.

The cause of the explosion was unclear but police said a bomb squad was on its way to the scene in downtown Linkoping and that they had opened a criminal investigation.

“Many people called in about a very powerful explosion which has led to a large number of windows being blown out,” police spokesman Bjorn Oberg said.

“So far we have been able to confirm that there are number of people with light injuries. We have cordoned off a large area, several blocks.”

Oberg said he could not say anything about what might have caused the blast. Swedish public radio reported that a large blast had destroyed the windows and balconies of a five-storey residential building and damaged other buildings.

Regional authorities said in a statement that 19 people had sustained minor injuries in the blast and that Linkoping University as well as other medical facilities in the area had been called into help care for those injured.

“The hospitals are in this way preparing to receive a larger number of injured should that prove to be necessary, it said.

Police said in a statement that several blocks around the area had been cordoned off but that there were no plans to evacuate residents.

While the cause of the apparent explosion was not clear, Sweden has seen several cases in recent years where explosives were used in suspected gang-related attacks. – Reuters