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Team set up to investigate explosion in student accommodation

explosion
The aftermath of the explosion at student house in Makedonitissa [Christos Theodorides]

An investigative team has been set up on Wednesday to ascertain the exact causes of an explosion overnight in a residence in Makedonitissa, police spokesman Christos Andreou said.

Speaking to state broadcaster CyBC, Andreou said a gas leak is being considered as the most likely cause of the explosion, which resulted in two people being hospitalised.

Thorough examinations are expected to continue in collaboration with the fire service and the electromechanical service to ascertain the exact causes in detail, Andreou said.

The gas leak hypothesis will be confirmed by tests carried out on Wednesday, he said, noting the premises had been leveled, which made conducting testing difficult, but it would be done.

A second line of investigation is to establish whether the premises in which students were housed, are suitable and possess all the required permits. The competent authorities, namely, town planning and local authorities, are to participate in this aspect of the investigation, the police spokesman said.

Clarifying initial reports, Andreou said the explosion took place in a three-storey residential building in a Makedonitissa neighbourhood shortly before 7pm. An 18-year-old female resident in one of the affected apartments was injured and is undergoing plastic surgery at Nicosia general hospital having suffered burn injuries to various parts of her body.

Her condition is stable, according to her treating doctors.

As for the  second person hospitalised, Andreou clarified this was a resident who was not injured or present during the explosion, but who suffered from shock upon witnessing the scene of destruction.

In his post on Tuesday evening on Platform X, the fire service’s spokesman, Andreas Kettis, stated that two fire engines from Nicosia responded at 6.58pm to the call.

Kettis noted that there was extensive damage and fallen masonry on the ground floor of the residential unit, comprising of six studios, four on the ground floor and two in the courtyard.

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