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Viaplay preps drama series based on Dutch fireworks warehouse explosion

The suburb of Roombeek on fire after the explosion (photo: Bart Flikweert via CC)

Nordic-based streamer Viaplay’s next Dutch original will be a drama based on the Enschede fireworks warehouse explosion that occurred in May 2000.

Roombeek is a four-part drama to be produced by EndemolShine Scripted, part of Banijay Benelux. It will centre on the devastating human impact of the explosion and its aftermath.

One of the biggest disasters in recent Dutch history, the explosion happened in Roombeek, a suburb of the eastern Netherlands city of Enschede. It killed 23 people, including four firefighters, and injured nearly 950. Roombeek itself was largely destroyed, with 200 homes ruined and 1,500 heavily damaged.

Casting for the series is underway and production will begin in early 2023. It is the latest addition to Viaplay’s growing slate in the Netherlands, joining true crime drama The Hunt for Jasper S, dark comedy Something Stupid and drama The Guilty.

Roombeek will be produced by EndemolShine Scripted’s Gerd-Jan van Dalen and Viaplay Group’s Kennard Bos.

Viaplay launched in the Netherlands in March with a combination of originals, Hollywood films and series, kids’ content and premium live sports. Streaming services StarzPlay and Hayu are also included in a Viaplay subscription.

Filippa Wallestam, Viaplay Group’s chief content officer, said: “We have very high ambitions for our Dutch originals and are committed to working with both established and upcoming local talents to tell unique stories that can attract a broad audience.

“Roombeek will be a sensitive and high-quality production that looks beyond the headlines to show us some of the human lives affected by a tragic event.”

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