Bochum, Tuesday evening: With a loud bang, an apartment building in the Linden district was dismantled. A pile of rubble remains. Any help comes too late for a woman. How could that happen?
Dramatic search with a sad ending: a woman was killed when a house in Bochum collapsed. After searching for several hours, rescuers found them in the rubble. The body is believed to be the 61-year-old homeowner who was missing, a police spokesman said early Wednesday morning. More details will only be clear when the dead person has been recovered and clearly identified.
The apartment building in the Linden district collapsed completely on Tuesday evening after an explosion. Photos showed the extent of the destruction: where the two-and-a-half-story building stood, all that was left after the accident was a pile of rubble. The road was littered with stones. A short time later, numerous neighbors called 911 and reported a loud bang.
Aside from the owner, two other people lived in the house, police said. One of them was able to free himself from the rubble and was taken to a hospital with minor injuries. The third was not at home.
Other people would no longer be suspected under the rubble, said fire brigade operations manager Simon Heussen on Wednesday morning. Rescue dogs would have struck in several places. These places were checked without result. In the early hours of the morning, the fire brigade began to recover the body, said a spokesman for the fire brigade. Excavators are also being used to remove the rubble. The recovery of the corpse and the clean-up work could last until the morning. Fire brigade, rescue service, rescue dog squadrons and technical relief organization (THW) were at the scene of the accident with 160 emergency services.
The cause of the alleged explosion was initially unclear. According to the Stadtwerke, the building had no gas connection, Heußen said. Nevertheless, gas was measured in the canal and in nearby buildings. It is therefore assumed that there was a gas leak there. A spokesman for the municipal utility announced that 12 houses were still without gas.
Around 20 employees of the Stadtwerke were on duty overnight, it said. A spokesman for the fire brigade said on Wednesday morning that people had to be evacuated from a total of six apartment buildings. It was initially unclear how many people were affected.
Heussen had previously described the situation as dramatic in a video on Twitter. There were therefore two dangers for the rescue workers: On the one hand, the debris was very unstable, there was a further danger of collapse. Therefore, one could not enter the site at first. In addition, gas was still detectable during the operation.
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