Man who caused gas explosion in block of flats given treatment order

Gas flameA court has ordered a man who blew up a block of flats in Friesland to undergo compulsory psychiatric treatment.

The 47-year-old man deliberately left the gas tap open in the building in Drachten last December. The resulting blast destroyed 12 flats and damaged six other properties. Part of the block was demolished in January because it was too unstable to rebuild.

The district court in Leeuwarden accepted the public prosecutor’s request for a compulsory treatment order rather than a prison sentence because of the man’s medical condition.

He told the court that he had been hearing voices from God and his dead mother. The explosion is thought to have been triggered when he pulled a kettle out of the electric mains, igniting a huge cloud of gas.

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