Dramatic pictures in Sauerland: After an explosion, an entire apartment building collapses. There are several injured, the emergency services are looking for buried people.

After the house collapsed after an explosion in Hemer, Sauerland, the rescue operation began. The rubble would now be cleared away to get to the two buried people with whom there is contact, a police spokeswoman said late Friday evening.

“We are in contact with the people, we talk to them and try to save them from the rubble,” said the spokesman for the Hemer fire brigade, Andreas Schulte, in a post on the news portal “Lokalstimme.de”.

Three of the eight residents are currently missing. One person was seriously injured and three others slightly. The apartment building has collapsed completely. The police and fire brigade are assuming a gas explosion.

Pictures showed that all that was left of the collapsed house was a mountain of rubble. “Unfortunately, it collapsed completely, there is not a single stone left standing,” added Schulte.

According to the police, the exact cause of the explosion is still unclear, but it was probably a gas explosion. The surrounding houses would be evacuated, the police said. The area around the scene of the accident was cordoned off. According to Schulte, six people are officially registered as residents in the house, and a total of eight would live there. It is unclear how many were in the home at the time of the accident.

The rescue measures are therefore difficult, according to the police, an excavator was used to move the debris. Hemer is near Iserlohn in the Märkisches Kreis.