Lichterfelde: Factory hall near Berlin in flames – fire department warns residents of toxic gases

A huge fire in a metal technology company in Berlin-Lichterfelde caused a huge cloud of smoke to form over the west of the city on Friday.

Lichterfelde: Factory hall near Berlin in flames – fire department warns residents of toxic gases

A huge fire in a metal technology company in Berlin-Lichterfelde caused a huge cloud of smoke to form over the west of the city on Friday. The fire department went into large-scale operations and warned of possible health risks. Copper cyanide and sulfuric acid were stored in the hall, and hydrogen cyanide may have been formed during the fire, a spokesman said in the early afternoon. Substances hazardous to health were measured in the immediate vicinity. According to the fire department's initial findings, there were no injuries.

When asked, a spokesman for the Diehl Metall company, to which the plant belongs, said that, according to his findings, no health-endangering exposure had been measured. The chemicals mentioned were only kept in small quantities in the factory.

A nearby school was closed and teachers and students were sent home, the fire department spokesman said. The population was alerted via a warning app and asked to close the windows. A warning message popped up on many cell phones on Friday afternoon with a shrill sound, saying there was “extreme danger.” “After evaluating the weather conditions and the corresponding wind direction, the smoke gases move from the site in a northerly direction,” said the fire department.

According to the fire department spokesman, it was not initially clear at what distance the smoke could still be dangerous to health. Parents of students at the Steglitz Fichtenberg-Gymnasium received an email saying that classes had been stopped and all students had been sent home. However, the Abitur will continue with the windows closed.

According to the spokesman, the Berlin fire brigade was on site with 180 emergency services in the afternoon, but initially did not have the major fire under control. She also alerted the airport fire department and the Bayer Group factory fire department with chemical specialists.

The building was therefore completely on fire. The spokesman said there was a “fire through” from the first floor to the roof. Parts of the building collapsed. The fire in the company broke out in the morning. A technical room on the first floor of a factory building was burning “to its full extent,” a fire department spokesman said this morning. All people could have left the place independently. The building could no longer be entered while the fire was being extinguished.

According to Diehl spokesman Michael Nitz, it is an electroplating company that primarily produces parts for the automotive industry. The Diehl Group is a large arms company; However, no military equipment was produced in the Berlin factory, said Nitz.

According to a dpa reporter's observations, surrounding streets were closed. The flames shot up into the sky. There was a strong smell of smoke in the air. A huge cloud of smoke formed over the building. A neighboring supermarket was completely enveloped in white smoke. The surrounding area is a mixture of commercial areas, allotments, residential areas and shopping centers.

According to eyewitnesses, the smoke moved north. The fire department published a map marking the affected areas. Parts of Spandau, Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Reinickendorf can be seen, among others. People should avoid the affected area and drive around as far as possible. Even if there is no cloud of smoke to be seen, windows and doors should remain closed and ventilation and air conditioning systems should be switched off, it said.

In the immediate vicinity of the fire, the police made announcements with a megaphone, calling for people to leave the streets, go into their homes and keep their windows closed. According to the fire department, pollutant levels were measured regularly in the city and operational area.

This post is continually updated.

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