Death toll from Belgian flat collapse rises to 12

1st February 2010, Comments 0 comments

The death toll in the collapse of an apartment block following a domestic gas explosion in the eastern Belgian town of Liege rose to 12 as three bodies were at the weekend.

BRUSSELS - In the latest recovery, rescue workers pulled the body of an unidentified victim out of the rubble of the building in Liege, firefighters said.

Earlier in the day two other unidentified corpses were pulled out.

The discoveries brings the death toll from Wednesday's collapse to 12 dead and 21 injured, with police fearing the number of fatalities could still rise as one more person is unaccounted for.

The six-storey building collapsed early Wednesday, during rescue and fire operations hours after an explosion caused by domestic gas devastated it and damaged others in the area.

A 13-year-old girl was pulled alive from the rubble on Wednesday afternoon.

Around 100 people were given shelter after leaving their damaged homes.

Rescue workers did not know how many people were in the building but Belgian Interior Minister Annemie Turtelboom told members of parliament Thursday: "There are indications of perhaps 15 to 20 victims."

The cause of the explosion has still not been determined and the Belgian authorities have not ruled out a suicide bid.

A resident of the building had reported smelling gas over the weekend, but firefighters and gas company workers sent to check found nothing out of the ordinary.


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