On Jos Smolderenstraat on Nieuw Zuid in Antwerp, a primary school under construction partly collapsed on Friday afternoon. At least one person died and about twenty people were injured. The medical disaster plan has been announced. Emergency services are massively on site and ask to avoid the surrounding area.
It seems that the upper floor of the new building has partly come down. A theorem next to the building also collapsed. How this could have happened is not clear yet. The police have called on the labor audit department to be on the spot. Emergency services are massively on site and the medical disaster plan has been announced.
One victim died
Antwerp police confirm that one victim has died. The victim is still under the rubble. There are still five people missing. Four of them are Portuguese employees of Goorden Bouw en Service. The company confirmed that to Nieuwsblad. The fire brigade is in contact with them. Goorden Construction and Service was installing facades, employees were on the position when the building collapsed.
At least nine people were injured. Eight of them are seriously injured, the ninth suffered minor injuries. It is presumably mainly about workers working in the building. They are taken care of in the grassyard in front of the building.
The fire brigade was able to free a number of people from under the rubble, but there are also a few people in the building. “The fire brigade is in touch with them and tries to get into the building, but thats a tough job. The stability of the building is virtually nil, so we need to approach the situation very carefully,” said police spokesman Wouter Bruyns to VRT NWS.
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The city of Antwerp also asks residents of the collapse in the Nieuw Zuid district to keep windows and doors closed and stay indoors for the time being. “The heavy wind can cause dust to blow up,” it sounds. “Emergency services monitor the situation in the area.”
The handling of the incident also causes a lot of traffic disturbance in the area. Emergency services ask them to give them the room to do their job and avoid the environment.
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The building in question concerns a new elementary school where urban education and community education GO! would join forces. The new school, which was due to open on September 1, should offer education for two hundred preschoolers and three hundred lower school children.
The school would not become a classical school: instead of classrooms, large studios would be used, which could be divided into several smaller spaces if necessary.
Michel van den Brande, known from the programme The Sky is the Limit, reports in a message on Facebook that his firm had statements to the building in question. There were no workers of his work at the time of the collapse.
Mayor Bart De Wever has already expressed his sympathy to the victims.