After the heavy explosion, the investigators suspected a 21-year-old and arrested him. According to the arrest warrant, the public prosecutor’s office is investigating, among other things, because of “attempted murder in conjunction with dangerous bodily harm in 15 cases and particularly serious arson” against the man.
According to the public prosecutor’s office in Aachen, 15 people were injured in the explosion on Thursday evening around 9 p.m. Four of the victims had to be hospitalized and two suffered life-threatening injuries. According to WDR information, a two-month-old baby and his mother were among the injured. Two firefighters were also injured, but were later able to return to work.
Explosion brings back memories of the flood
The people were still shocked by the explosion. A local resident reported: “I heard a bang and then screams. When I came out, everything was full of insulating wool and broken glass.“
Nadine Leonhardt, mayor of Eschweiler, was also clear when she was alerted: “It’s nothing small, it’s something dramatic.“Many people on site were in shock, Leonhardt reported on WDR. Many people had memories of the flood.
Eschweiler was still being rebuilt after the flood. “I would have wished that the people in Eschweiler, who have achieved so much, would not have had to go through this experience.”
Damage within a radius of 50 meters
Especially since a large deployment has to take place at the same time, Leonhardt continues. The rear part of the house was so badly damaged by the explosion that it is in danger of collapsing. The force of the detonation shattered all the window panes within a radius of 50 meters. Shops opposite the house from which the detonation wave came were also in ruins. About 50 buildings were damaged.
The explosion also unleashed a fire that kept a large contingent of firefighters from the region busy for hours. The police and fire brigade received support from the Eschweiler Technical Relief Agency.
The fire was out by 2 a.m. However, embers were discovered later. More than 200 forces were deployed. The extinguishing work continued early Friday morning. Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) thanked the emergency services in the afternoon. you would have”did everything possible, accepting their own risks, to save the residents of the house as quickly as possible“, Reul told the German Press Agency in Düsseldorf.
Investigators are looking for the cause of the explosion
“The public prosecutor’s office and the criminal police are currently still inspecting the house. This will take a while“Said Nadine Leonhardt, Mayor of Eschweiler, in WDR.
As the fire brigade announced at a press conference on Friday, gas bottles were found and salvaged in the back of the house. However, it was not possible to determine whether these were the cause of the explosion. Gas flames actually have a specific appearance, and that was not seen at least in the shop area. The cause of the explosion is therefore unclear at the current time. Police investigators have begun investigating the scene of the fire.
Local residents confirmed that WDRthat immediately after the explosion, an all-terrain vehicle had raced through the shopping street at high speed.
Arson not excluded
The authorities initially assumed it was an accident. But later, third-party debt was no longer ruled out. The public prosecutor’s office in Aachen said that investigations were being carried out in all directions.
Strike again – after the 2021 flood
In the street where the explosion occurred, the water was waist-deep during the 2021 flood disaster and caused massive damage. For local residents and shop owners, the explosion is now a new blow. Klaus Robrecht owns a leather goods and bags shop. He said that WDR: “At some point you can’t anymore. First the flood, when everything was destroyed, and now the facility is broken again.“Robrecht hopes that the goods are still undamaged in the warehouse. He lives very close to the scene of the accident and heard the screams. His house shook – he said he had never experienced anything like it.
Emergency chaplains take care of victims
After the experiences with the flood disaster, the sympathy of the Eschweiler population is very great and the event is also particularly traumatic for those affected, according to Mayor Nadine Leonhardt: “You have to imagine experiencing such a flood disaster, sometimes spending months rebuilding your own business and now standing in front of it and saying: Now it’s destroyed again.“Emergency counselors take care of traumatized people, such as relatives of the victims or local residents.