Sweden seeks building explosion suspect, orders custody

World

FILE – In this Tuesday Sept. 28, 2021 file photo, smoke billows from an apartment building after an explosion in Annedal, central Gothenburg, Sweden. Swedish police said Thursday Sept. 30, 2021, they are seeking a man in connection with an explosion and fire at a large apartment building this week that injured 16 people, four of them seriously. (Bjorn Larsson Rosvall/TT via AP, File)

STOCKHOLM (AP) — A tenant in a Swedish apartment building that was rocked by an explosion and fire last month that injured 16 people was formally remanded in custody Monday in his absence, suspected of attempted murder, arson and general destruction.

The move allows the prosecutor to go out with an international search warrant, although it is not certain the man is abroad.

Authorities in Sweden have not named the suspect, a man in his 50s, who also is suspected of causing the blast and the ensuing fires. He has not been arrested.

In the early hours of Sept. 28, a housing block in Goteborg, Sweden’s second-largest city, was shattered by a powerful explosion. Ensuing blazes spread to several apartments and hundreds of residents were evacuated. Four of the injured are in serious condition and at least 140 apartments were damaged.

Swedish radio quoted an unnamed neighbor as saying the suspect had “lot of chemicals, either in the apartment or in the basement, given the smell.”

The property owner had been trying to evict the man and his mother from their apartment in the building, according to the Aftonbladet newspaper. Several Swedish media said an eviction was planned for the day the explosion occurred.

Aftonbladet said police had already charged the man with several offenses a week before the blast. The paper also reported that after he wasn’t allowed to see his mother at a nursing home because of pandemic restrictions, the suspect harassed several people, including the owner of the building.

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