René (64) dies in explosion in flat: ‘Indescribable’


In an explosion in an apartment building in Vlissingen, Thursday evening René de Bijl (64) died in Deurne. The explosion and subsequent fire probably started when oxygen bottles, which he needed because of his lung disease, started to leak. Because the man had no funeral insurance, his cousins ​​started a fundraiser for a worthy goodbye.

De Bijl lived on the first floor in an apartment building on the Hogeweg in Vlissingen. The fire that followed the explosion spread to the two upper floors of the four-story complex.

“He has been through a lot”
“It is indescribable. The last chapter in a rather turbulent book, ”says his nephew, 42-year-old Ruud van den Einden from Deurne. “My uncle was a very friendly, jovial man. Very sweet. And he has been through a lot. ”

The 64-year-old from Deurne left for Zeeland at a young age for love. Love passed, but he stayed in Vlissingen. He got to the booze and lower shore. But in recent years he has scrambled up again. He got the lung disease COPD and therefore put his life back on track.

“Sweet, funny uncle”
“We didn’t have much contact, but the contact we had was always good,” says Ruud. “He always congratulated you. And our children. Or sent some jokes via Facebook. ” He also helped his nephew when he ended up in an empty rental house in 2015. “I had absolutely nothing else. He contributed and sent a towel package. ”

Ruud and his brother have now started a fundraiser for their uncle. De Bijl had no funeral insurance. “We cannot afford to pay in full ourselves. But we think it is very important that he has a nice goodbye. Especially his sisters, my mother and aunt. ”

No arson
The police started an investigation into the explosion and fire. She announced on Sunday that there was no arson. The family has been told that the fire probably started after De Bijl’s oxygen bottles leaked. He had it because of his COPD.

Omroep Zeeland reports that another apartment resident had to go to the hospital and four others were slightly injured. Due to the explosion and fire, 22 homes were evacuated. The residents will probably not be able to return home until after this weekend.

The cremation of Ruud’s uncle is in Zeeland next week. If the fundraiser receives more money than is necessary for the service, this money will be donated to the Longfonds.


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