Explosion adds to Pae Street's notorious 10-year history

  • 2005-09-09
  • By TBT staff
TALLINN - One person was killed and another injured during an explosion on Sept. 9 in an apartment complex on Pae Street, located in Tallinn's eastern suburb of Lasnamae.

The victim's body was so badly burned that officials could not immediately establish its gender, said police superintendent Tarmo Miilits.

A 10-year-old boy was injured by the explosion while playing sports in the nearby stadium of Paekaare High School. According to reports, the boy suffered thigh injuries and at least one other pupil went into shock.

A number of the school's ground-floor windows shattered from impact. Luckily, there were no students in the classroom at the time. Since the explosion, the high school has cancelled all classes.

Officials have not yet determined what kind of explosive caused the damage, however unofficial reports claim the victim most likely was to blame.

According to the North Police Precinct, the blast was reported at 9:32 a.m.

The explosion most likely occurred on the nine-story apartment block's ground-floor at 56 Pae Street, underneath a balcony or in the cellar, a spokesman for the Rescue Board Kirill Teiter told the Baltic News Service.

About 10 windows were shattered, and the concrete balcony platform was dislodged.

Police have since evacuated residents from the building, and opened a criminal investigation.

Lasnamae Deputy Governer Jan Trei said that, although an explosion occurred in the same area on April 6, no such incidents have happened at exactly 56 Pae Street.

Pae Street has earned a notorious reputation in Tallinn for its many explosions over the years. On Sept. 3, 2004, a bomb detonated in a telephone booth outside 68 Pae Street. A middle-aged man and a woman were severely injured during the blast and later died in the hospital.

An explosion also occurred in a dormitory at 23A Pae Street on May 16 last year, and on Nov. 19, 2003, a bomb squad removed an explosive from the stairwell of the same building, thanks to an early warning by students.

On May 10, 2003, a woman was killed and a man injured as the result of an explosion at 23A Pae Street. Nearly three years earlier, a bomb went off in the same building.

The first explosion to set off this suspicious trail happened on the night of Dec. 18, 1998 in a bar at 48 Pae Street. Two people were killed.