NRW: Explosion in Essen residential building: cause still unclear

After the explosion in an apartment building in Essen with one dead and one seriously injured, the search is underway to find the cause.

NRW: Explosion in Essen residential building: cause still unclear

After the explosion in an apartment building in Essen with one dead and one seriously injured, the search is underway to find the cause. “We are investigating in all directions,” said a police spokeswoman. "An accident is conceivable, but also negligent or intentional arson."

On Saturday evening there was an explosion in the ground floor apartment, which was heated with gas. The house and the adjacent street, including parked cars, were devastated.

Large parts of the house were ablaze. A resident jumped out of the window from the second floor. She was taken to a special clinic in Bochum with burn injuries, where her condition stabilized.

Emergency services find body

There was initially no trace of the resident of the ground floor apartment where the explosion occurred and which was completely burned out on Sunday. Entering the house was initially impossible. The fire quickly spread up the stairwell. After it was extinguished, sniffer dogs were brought up on a turntable ladder on Sunday. They initially didn't find a body there, as the fire department announced. However, it later turned out that there was a dead person under the rubble.

Emergency services were only able to enter when the building was opened for short stays. The entire house was searched: the officers used a ladder to get upstairs. They found the dead man on the first floor on Sunday evening. It was initially unclear whether it was the resident of the ground floor apartment where the explosion occurred. The two residents of the apartment on the first floor were able to save themselves and were taken to hospital with minor injuries. The man may have fled upstairs to escape the flames.

The autopsy of the deceased is intended to clarify the identity. The teeth or DNA traces could potentially help, said a police spokeswoman. However, it is difficult to find good DNA comparison samples in a completely burned-out apartment. It could take a few days for the identity to be clarified.

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