The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu
  • Daily & Weekly newsletters
  • Buy & download The Bulletin
  • Comment on our articles

Five killed after school construction site collapses in Antwerp

12:26 19/06/2021

Five people have been killed after a construction site in Antwerp collapsed on Friday afternoon.

King Philippe visited the site of the accident, in Antwerp’s Nieuw Zuid district, on Saturday afternoon.

The Zuidzin primary school building was still under construction and was scheduled to open in September for the start of the school year.

The exact cause of the collapse is not yet known. Five workers were missing under the rubble. By Saturday afternoon, all their bodies had been found.

Firefighters used tracking dogs and a Civil Protection drone to search for the missing workers. A contractor dispatched special equipment to safely move the heaviest debris.

Among those rescued from the rubble, nine were injured. Four of them are in a very serious condition, four are in a serious condition and one is slightly injured.

A spokesman for Democo, the contractor in charge of the site said he was shocked by the incident. "We are doing everything to investigate what happened. We are trying to answer all questions, but right now it is still too early," he added.

Democo director Frederik Bijnens clarified that first aid and attention is currently focused on colleagues who were working on the site. "We are in close contact with the emergency services and we are monitoring the situation closely. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected by this incident, to their families and loved ones," he said.

Photo: Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Written by Richard Harris