One killed in Utrecht explosion


One person was killed in an explosion at a business in an industrial area in Utrecht. The blast, which happened at about 2 a.m. on Saturday, took the life of a 29-year-old man, police said.

Few details were released about the explosion on the Californiedreef in the city’s Overvecht district. A strong smell of natural gas was reported by 2:15 a.m., but it was not clear if it was linked to the detonation. A trauma team was also dispatched to the scene by helicopter just before 2:30 a.m.

An explosives disposal team from the Ministry of Defense was still on the scene 12 hours later assisting in the case. Forensic investigators continued collecting trace evidence into the afternoon, and a tactical team was also at the blast site, police said.

The street was completely closed to the public, according to local broadcaster RTV Utrecht. Police on social media urged any witnesses to come forward with information that could be helpful in sorting out the chaotic event.

A separate explosion also happened in Amsterdam about 90 minutes after the Utrecht incident. Nobody was injured in the Amsterdam Osdorp blast, though a night shop was damaged.