Police guard the residence of Palestinian diplomat Jamal al Jamal in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic.
AP Photo/CTK, Katerina Sulova
Police guard the residence of Palestinian diplomat Jamal al Jamal in the city of Prague in the Czech Republic.

Story highlights

"Several illegal firearms were seized," police spokeswoman says

Police say Jamal al Jamal died after a blast possibly related to his improper handling of a safe

His wife was taken to a hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and shock

Their son was not hurt

CNN —  

A Palestinian diplomat and his wife were injured in an explosion Wednesday inside their house in the northern Prague neighborhood of Suchdol, officials said.

“Several illegal firearms were seized by the police in the flat of the late Palestinian ambassador,” Jamal al Jamal, Prague police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told CNN about al Jamal, 57.

She would not say how many weapons were found or where they may have come from. In the Czech Republic, all firearms must be registered with authorities; possession requires a permit.

Police said Wednesday that al Jamal died after an explosion possibly related to his improper handling of a safe inside his house in the neighborhood of Suchdol.

Police identified the victim as Jamal al Jamal, 57. He died after he was taken to Prague Military Hospital and placed in an induced coma.

“Experts have determined that the explosion occurred when a safe in the ambassador’s living room was opened,” Prague Police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulova told CNN. “The explosion was most likely caused by dangerous or unqualified manipulation with the safety box by the ambassador himself. The explosive device was probably part of the safety mechanism of the safe.”

She added that authorities found evidence of explosives in the debris.

However, police said the investigation was ongoing; a glitch in the system might have caused the explosion, or the device could have been wrongly set.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry announced that the explosion occurred minutes after al Jamal had opened an old safe that had been moved from the old diplomatic mission to his two-story house, which was being readied to house the new diplomatic mission.

In a statement, the ministry said it would send a high-level delegation to Prague on Thursday “to communicate and to cooperate with the Czech (Republic) in the investigation to determine the cause of the explosion.”

The house was newly constructed, according to CTK, a state-run news agency.

The blast, which occurred at about 12:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. ET), also injured al Jamal’s 52-year-old wife, who was taken to Motol Hospital after inhaling smoke and suffering from shock, said Jirina Ernestova, a spokeswoman for Prague Emergency Services.

The couple’s son, who was also in the house, was not hurt, police said.

Al Jamal had been a diplomat in the Czech Republic since last October, according to CTK.

CNN’s Tom Watkins contributed to this report.