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Fire in a historic university building in Antwerp caused by human error during the roofing process (Antwerp)

Fire in a historic university building in Antwerp caused by human error during the roofing process (Antwerp)

Antwerp

The fire in Building B of the University of Antwerp Campus was caused by human error during roofing work. This was confirmed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Antwerp after an investigation by a fire expert.

The Antwerp Public Prosecutor informed the University of Antwerp on Thursday evening that Building B will be released. “The findings of the fire expert show that it was an unintentional fire caused by human error during the roof,” Antwerp Public Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Kato Bielmanns said.

The main contractor, who is overseeing the roof renovation, said Thursday that a subcontractor was working on the flat roof roofing work. He said the work was completed by noon.

Insurance experts came on Friday to gauge the damage. There is a sense of urgency among all parties. “We will act quickly,” says Peter de Meyer, a spokesperson for UAntwerp. In the first case, all debris will be removed from the ceiling, and in the second, a specialized company will clean office by office, room by room. “An inventory will also be done for each room,” says de Meyer.

Possible collapse risk

A city engineer confirmed the building’s stability Thursday, but there was still a potential risk of collapsing here and there because many of the roofs had absorbed so much fire water. An arrangement will likely be made for affected employees who have an office in one of the basements from Tuesday to come and get things from their desks.

The fire started around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Building B houses 136 offices and four halls. There is also a lot of water damage in the wing next to Building D.

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