Swedish building more damaged by blast than first thought

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Swedish police said Wednesday that the damage to an apartment block rocked by a powerful explosion and ensuing fire is greater than first expected.

Authorities have said that they suspect the blast, which injured 16 people, four of them seriously, may have been caused by an explosive device. “Our main theory is still that something has been placed that has detonated,” police spokesman Thomas Fuxborg said.

“The damage to the house is worse than we first feared, with cracks in both walls and ceiling,” he said, and added that “walls have been pushed in by the pressure wave from the explosion.”

The explosion took place just before 5 a.m. Tuesday in central Goteborg, Sweden’s second-largest city. Blazes spread to several apartments, and fire department crews continued to work overnight to extinguish the flames, cool down the building and secure it. Police on Wednesday were expected to be able to enter the building and start their forensic investigation.

The blast prompted some people to jump out of their windows to escape.

One of the four seriously injured people, remained in intensive care Wednesday, Goteborg’s main hospital told Swedish broadcaster SVT.

The blast comes amid a rise in violence between organized criminal gangs in the Scandinavian nation, and the Swedish media immediately focused on the possibility that the Goteborg blast could be related to feuding gangs, However, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven repeatedly declined to speculate on a motive.

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