January 28, 2010 / 8:31 AM / 9 years ago

Belgian building collapse deaths rise to 9 - media

Firefighters work at the site where a house collapsed in Liege January 27, 2010. The death toll from a collapsed apartment block in eastern Belgium has risen to nine, but rescue efforts have been suspended because of fears that more buildings could fall down, Belgian media reported on Thursday. REUTERS/Thierry Roge

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The death toll from a collapsed apartment block in eastern Belgium has risen to nine, but rescue efforts have been suspended because of fears that more buildings could fall down, Belgian media reported on Thursday.

A suspected gas leak blew up the block of flats early on Wednesday in a street in the centre of the east Belgian city of Liege, damaging adjoining buildings and shattering windows.

Firefighters have suspended rescue efforts because of fears that other buildings could also collapse, the Belgian news agency Belga said.

The collapse injured 21 people, three of them seriously, Belga reported.

City officials could not immediately be reached to confirm the casualty figures.

Writing by Ben Deighton, editing by Tim Pearce

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