‘Criminal fire’ at National Institute of Criminology in Brussels
PUBLISHED Mon, August 29, 2016 - 1:19am EDT
Emergency services in Belgium are at the scene of a 'criminal fire' at the National Institute for Criminalistics and Criminology (NICC) in Brussels, officials say. The motive is unknown but earlier reports of a bomb explosion have been denied. (more)
The incident happened just after 2 a.m. local time on Monday when a loud explosion was heard at the complex in Neder-Over-Heembeek, which is located in the northern part of the City of Brussels. A fire broke out at the scene.
There were no injuries as a result of the explosion, but residents in the surrounding neighborhood reported being shaken by the blast. Firefighters extinguished the fire that engulfed the car and caused damage in the vicinity. No one was injured.
Belgian media initially reported that the incident was caused by an explosives-laden vehicle that was rammed through gates at the facility before being detonated, but officials later said that no explosives were found. Instead, the fire was likely caused by fuel that was set on fire.
"It's probably not terrorism. It's a criminal act," Ine Van Wymersch, a spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor's office, told the Associated Press news agency.
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