Under-construction school collapse kills five workers in Antwerp

Five construction workers were killed and eight others were hospitalised when scaffolding and part of a primary school under construction in Antwerp, Belgium collapsed in the Nieuw Zuid district on the afternoon of Friday, 18 June.

Three of the injured were in intensive care, the City of Antwerp said on Saturday.

After first reports of the collapse before 3.20pm, emergency crews with rescue dogs worked through Friday night searching the debris for survivors. Police reported at 6pm the following day that the final two bodies had been found.

  • See the site and rescue operation:


Police said all injured were in stable condition; one of those hospitalised has been released.

An investigation into the cause of the collapse is underway.

Contractor on the project, Democo, said on Friday that it was "shocked by the incident". "We’re doing everything we can to investigate how this could happen," it said. "Our first care and attention now goes out to our colleagues who were working there."

On Saturday Democo said the five deceased all worked for its subcontractors.

On its website, municipal developer AG Vespa said the school and sports hall in Jos Smolderenstraat is being built under a design-build contract to cater for new residential area in the district, with the City of Antwerp being one of the partners. 

Image: Photograph shows damage to the primary school under construction in Antwerp, Belgium (Courtesy of the City of Antwerp press office)

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