Explosion in Rotterdam shisha lounge, building badly damaged

Fire engines speed to the scene. Photo: Giulio Colla

An explosion and fire at a shisha lounge and restaurant in central Rotterdam has caused major damage to the front of the building in the city’s Wijnhaven district.

One eyewitness told reporters that a car had stopped in front of the cafe and someone threw something into the building before the car drove off. Police are now investigating what happened.

Several people were slightly injured and one person was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of smoke.

People living on the four floors above the Comptoir cafe were evacuated and although most have been allowed to return, eight homes were damaged by smoke and water and their residents need to be rehoused.

The blast did not damage a neighbouring 33 storey residential building.