An entire house collapses in Sauerland due to an explosion. Several people can be saved. Now one person could only be recovered dead.

Aerial photos show a debris field where an apartment building previously stood. An explosion caused complete devastation in Hemer, Sauerland, on Friday evening.

The police and fire brigade are assuming a gas explosion. The exact cause was initially unclear. By early Saturday morning, four people were injured. Then on Saturday morning the bad news: A woman could only be taken dead from the rubble. The police announced on Saturday morning.

At around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday night, rescue workers first recovered a man and a little later a woman from the remains of the house. According to fire department spokesman Andreas Schulte, both were “in acute danger of death”. They were first given medical treatment on site and were to be taken to a clinic.

The fire brigade had to be careful, but also quickly advance to the buried victims. “We worked our way very carefully so that we could speak to them and touch them,” said Schulte. “Partly upside down,” he added. “It was tedious work.”

Two injured people had already been recovered on Friday evening. One of the victims was hospitalized with serious injuries but not life-threatening. The man was lying high up on the rubble mountain, reported fire brigade spokesman Schulte. The other person was reportedly only slightly injured.

There was always the danger that when the man and woman were found close together, debris would slide down “and the other person would be killed,” says Schulte. “The people were buried up to two meters under the components. The colleagues built a kind of tunnel and then freed the people.”

The house is said to have been a six-party house with eight residents. Three of the eight residents of the house were probably not at home at the time of the collapse, police said. The building had collapsed completely. “There is no stone left standing,” said fire brigade spokesman Schulte. “I’ve seen quite a few buildings after a gas explosion, but I’ve never seen complete destruction on this scale,” he later added.

Meanwhile, a structural engineer had to clarify whether and how much the neighboring houses had suffered. A bus was ready in case of an evacuation. The area around the scene of the accident was cordoned off. It was not yet clear how many people were in the house at the time of the accident. Hemer is a town of 34,000 in the Märkisches Kreis in Sauerland. It is the eastern neighboring town of Iserlohn.