1 dead, at least two injured in Belgium in accidental blast

Police inspectors survey the scene of a blast at a sports complex in Chimay, Belgium. (Virginia Mayo, AP)
Police inspectors survey the scene of a blast at a sports complex in Chimay, Belgium. (Virginia Mayo, AP)

Chimay – One person was killed and at least two injured in Belgium in an accidental explosion at a sports centre near the French border.

A Belgian Crisis Center staffer said early on Friday that "the information that I have is that it due to an accident, probably gas. There is no link to terrorism or anything like that." The staffer could not be named under the centre's rules.

Belgian state radio RTBF said the blast happened in the town of Chimay, 120km south of the capital Brussels just after midnight. It quoted local rescue services as saying a number of people had been in the building at the time.

Several dozen police and firefighters were on the scene and the area had been cordoned off, but the damage was not as serious as initially feared. Windows were blown out of the two-story building, and one corner of the structure was badly damaged but there was no major collapse.

It was not known if anyone was still in the building.

Chimay has a population of about 10 000 and is known for one of Belgium's most famous breweries.

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