Dramatic pictures from the Sauerland: An entire house collapses due to an explosion. There are injured, buried and missing. A race against time begins.

Aerial photos show a field of rubble where an apartment building was just standing. An explosion caused complete devastation in Hemer, Sauerland, on Friday evening.

Four people were rescued injured, two are still trapped and buried under the rubble, but alive, according to a police spokeswoman.

salvage begins

The rescue operation begins – a race against time. With heavy equipment in the form of excavators and cranes, the rubble has to be carefully cleared away piece by piece in order to get to the buried people.

The rescue workers don’t know exactly what to expect late Friday evening. You are preparing for a long night. Three residents are still missing. Maybe they traveled, maybe they had visitors.

The seriously injured is not in mortal danger. It was high up on the rubble mountain, reports fire brigade spokesman Andreas Schulte. Three other people escaped with minor injuries, which appears to be very fortunate given the extent of the destruction.

difficult search

The house is said to have been a six-party house with eight residents. “Unfortunately, it collapsed completely, there is not a single stone left standing,” says firefighter Andreas Schulte.

Now it is important to advance cautiously, but also quickly to the two buried victims. “We are in contact with the people, we talk to them and try to save them from the rubble,” Schulte told the news portal “Lokalstimme.de”.

Meanwhile, a structural engineer has to clarify whether and how much the neighboring houses have suffered. A bus is available in case of an evacuation. The exact cause of the explosion is initially unclear, but the fire brigade and police report that it was a gas explosion.

The area around the accident site is cordoned off over a wide area. It is unclear 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.