Blasts badly damage 2 Polish supermarkets in the Netherlands

National/World

People inspect the debris after an explosion in Aalsmeer, near Amsterdam, Netherlands, in the early hours of Tuesday morning Dec. 8, 2020. Two Polish supermarkets in the Netherlands were badly damaged by explosions Tuesday but no injuries were reported police said. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

AALSMEER, Netherlands (AP) — Two Polish supermarkets in the Netherlands were badly damaged by explosions early Tuesday, police said. Nobody was injured in the blasts in Aalsmeer, near Amsterdam, and in a small town in the North Brabant province.

It was not immediately clear if the explosions were linked. Both stores were called Biedronka, but are not part of a large network of budget stores of the same name in Poland.

Amsterdam police appealed for witnesses to the blast in Aalsmeer, which happened around 3 a.m. (0200 GMT) and caused major damage to the store and nearby buildings as well as setting a parked car ablaze.

“It’s a miracle nobody was injured,” Mayor Gido Oude Kotte told Dutch broadcaster NOS.

Forensic investigators were picking through charred wreckage in the supermarket in Aalsmeer on Tuesday.

Police said they evacuated some 20 people as a precaution after a blast at the Polish store in Heeswijk-Dinther destroyed much of the store and damaged nearby buildings.

There are dozens of Polish stores dotted across the Netherlands, a popular destination for workers from Poland.

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AP writer Monika Scislowska in Warsaw contributed.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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