A powerful explosion rocked a residential building in Höganäs, Skåne County, in the early hours of Tuesday, smashing 60 windows and causing damage to 40 apartments.
Investigators believe that the explosion took place at around 2:30 a.m. inside, or very near, one of the stairwells, with the whole staircase said to be “blown out”.
Ronnie Lundgren, an officer in charge of the emergency services in Skåne North-west, told broadcaster SVT: “There’s a lot of damage. The whole stairwell was blown out, and there was damage to the properties next door as well.”
“Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. Paramedics checked on one person, but that’s it,” Lundgren added.
Sweden: Just Seven Convictions After Year of Over 250 Explosions and Bombings https://t.co/IjJl84CS01
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The blast damaged around 40 apartments, blowing off the doors of several balconies and smashing dozens of windows. Police are not certain when residents may be able to return to their homes, and the municipal government has offered temporary housing for those affected.
The building’s residents spoke to newspaper Aftonbladet, with one describing the blast as being like something out of a war.
“It felt like war. That’s how bad a bang it was,” 53-year-old resident Refije said.
So far, police have no leads on a suspect, but a local told Aftonbladet that his daughter claimed to have seen an Audi without licence plates speeding from the scene shortly after the blast.
Despite a surge in explosions and bombings in the last several years, Sweden has had a relatively poor record identifying and convicting suspects in bombing cases.
A report from January of last year revealed that while there had been over 250 explosions and bombings, only seven people had been convicted in connection with them.
Marie Borgh, the head of the national bomb protection, blamed the difficulty on the fact so much of the evidence was destroyed in the explosions, saying: “The technical evidence is difficult when it is blown up. Most of it is blown away in connection with the detonation.”
Sweden: Bombings and Explosions Up 45 Percent in 2019 https://t.co/cmnuHdChzq
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“Often, someone may order this job based on a conflict that exists. A bomb builder will build the bomb, and someone else will then carry it out,” she said, noting that many of the blasts have been linked to gang activity.
In February 2020, police charged an employee of a demolition company for selling industrial explosives to gang members in Gothenburg.