The smell of gas is in the air, a large pile of debris and numerous emergency services in the quiet residential area of Hemer in the Sauerland are still evidence of the tragic accident on Friday night.
Firefighters walk around to measure the gas concentration in the debris field and the gas tank. The house, which was completely destroyed by a violent explosion, is located in the south of the town with 40,000 inhabitants, on a hill surrounded by narrow paths.
Minister of Internal Affairs of NRW at the scene of the accident
While life on the main road, some 100 meters away, was as usual on Saturday afternoon, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia arrived at the scene of the accident. After the house collapses with one fatality, he is terrified and concerned. “Our thoughts are with the family of a deceased woman. This is the worst imaginable. We were still hoping everything would go well last night. But when you see this gigantic pile, you know it wasn’t very likely, said Herbert Reul Saturday afternoon in front of the rubble of a house that was completely destroyed by a gas explosion.
In addition to a 57-year-old woman who was found dead in the morning, there are two seriously injured people: a 32-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man. Police added this in a statement at noon after the identities of all victims had been clarified beyond reasonable doubt. They all lived in the tenement house. There were no visitors or visitors at the time of the outbreak on Friday evening at around 7:00 PM.
No more buried people
According to the fire brigade, no other people are hiding under the rubble. “According to the current state of the investigation, we assume that there are no more people under the rubble,” said fire department spokesman Andreas Schulte. On Saturday morning, around 9:00 am, the emergency services could only save the deceased 57-year-old.
Before that, there was good news. At around 3:00 and 3:45 am, the emergency services were able to break through the debris field to the 36-year-old and 32-year-old and rescue them. Both were taken to hospital, but are in mortal danger, according to fire spokesman Andreas Schulte and Hemer mayor Christian Schweitzer (CDU). “This is a very tragic incident. Now it is about providing two seriously injured people with optimal care. My last information was that they are still fighting for their lives, said Schweitzer of the German Press Agency.
Reul also thought of the two seriously injured: “We all hope and pray that those who are in the hospital and fighting for their lives will survive and survive,” Reul said, expressing his thanks to many emergency services. “From the excavator operator to the police, firefighters, THW or the Red Cross – we can be very, very happy to have so many people in NRW volunteering or working and being so competent. You know what to do in a moment like this. And when you see boys and girls on their faces, you know what an effort it was and is. ‘
One of them is “I’m glad we managed to save two people,” said Schulte. The scene of the accident was handed over to the criminal police for further investigation. First of all, it is necessary to establish the exact cause of the gas explosion. “We continue to support the police with our staff,” said a spokesman for the fire department.
Two people were rescued shortly after the explosion on Friday night. According to Mayor Schweitzer, both of them were only slightly injured, contrary to reports. According to reports, three of the eight residents of the six-sided house were not home at the time of the collapse.
Neighboring houses slightly damaged
According to Schweitzer, neighboring residential buildings were also slightly damaged by detonation. However, these are only “broken windows”. Two other people in the vicinity sustained minor injuries from flying debris. But it’s alright. “I’m glad nothing happened to the neighbors. You can buy new windows. But that’s just a minor problem. They are all healthy and I hope that the next night they can sleep well again, ”Reul said.
In addition to the interior minister and Schweitzer, the Märkisches Kreis County Governor Marco Voge (CDU) was at the scene of the accident to make an impression. Like him, Schweitzer also thanked the rescuers, including squadrons of police dogs. “You all did your best and you deserve our greatest recognition.”
When it became clear in the morning that no one was missing, the criminal police launched further investigations, especially into the exact cause of the outbreak. “Investigators now have to do the rest. We have to wait now and see them in the room, we also have to give them time, ”Reul said.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 220708-99-960096 / 19