An entire house collapses in Sauerland due to an explosion. Several people can be saved. At least one other person is said to be buried under the rubble.

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 injured people had been rescued from the rubble. At least one other person was still buried, according to the police and fire brigade. Emergency services could have contacted her in the meantime. But this was canceled again.

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.

difficult rescue

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.

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 department spokesman Schulte. “I’ve seen 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 with 34,000 inhabitants in the Märkisches Kreis in Sauerland. It is the eastern neighboring town of Iserlohn.