Crime Lab Arson a Possible Attempt to Destroy Evidence

The crime lab assists and advises Belgium's justice authorities
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 29, 2016 1:21 AM CDT
Bomb Explodes Outside Criminology Institute
Damage can be seen at the building of the National Criminology Lab in Brussels on Monday, Aug. 29, 2016.   (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Reports of a bomb outside Belgium's criminal institute early Monday are probably false, the Brussels prosecutor's office says, describing the incident as much more likely an arson attack designed to destroy criminal evidence. "It's probably not terrorism. It's a criminal act," says spokeswoman Ine Van Wymersch. "I cannot confirm that there was any bomb." State broadcaster RTBF and other outlets had reported that a car drove through a security barrier at the site about 2am followed by an explosion that caused significant damage to the facility on Brussels' north side. Nobody was injured.

The crime lab assists and advises Belgium's justice authorities in carrying out their investigations, the AP reports. Investigators say the suspected arsonists set fire to a laboratory used to analyze DNA samples found at crime scenes. "So it's an act that could be linked to (destroying) several files," Van Wymersch says. She says any explosion heard by residents may have been caused by material being consumed in the fire. (More Brussels stories.)

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