Budapest, January 13 (MTI) – A preliminary investigation suggests that the blast which caused a wall of a bank branch in Budapest to collapse in the early hours of Monday was a criminal act, police told MTI.
The blast was most probably caused by an explosive, police said. The composition and type of explosive have not yet been determined, they added.
It appears that the suspected crime was not aimed at killing or injuring anyone, and no injuries have been reported, police said.
Eyewitnesses saw a motorcyclist passing in front of the building just before the blast, an MTI correspondent was told at the site. Windows were broken on both sides of the street.
The blast occurred at 4.18am in Lehel Street in the north of the city, destroying the front of the facility. It seems the blast blew the door of the branch office to the opposite side of the street.
The building was evacuated but after combing the site, the authorities allowed residents to return to their homes.
Nobody was injured in the blast which caused substantial material damage to the branch office of CIB Bank, the bank’s communications director told MTI. A police investigation is under way, said Adam Szinai. There are branch offices of Erste Bank, Budapest Bank and FHB next to each other in the area of Lehel Street section affected by the blast. Images recorded at the scene show damage at the fronts of CIB and Budapest Bank.
The police said in late Monday morning that they were seeking a motorcyclist in connection with the blast.
Photo: MTI – Zoltán Mihák