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14 Dead Following Explosion, Fire at Handicapped Workshop – Many Rescued by FF’s

120 Handicapped People Working There

AN EXPLOSION AND RESULTING FIRE in a Southern Germany handicapped workshop has killed at least 14 people Monday afternoon.

dpa

The initial explosion occurred around 2 pm in a storeroom from as-yet unknown causes, and started a fire that quickly filled the entire facility with thick smoke.  There were approximately 120 people afflicted with mental or physical disabilities inside the workshop that processes wood into salable products.  A monitored fire detection system sent the alarm and started the evacuations, but many occupants were unable to get out.

dpa

The first-arriving firefighters were met with a challenging rescue mission and were able to find and remove 20 victims who were still alive.  However, at least 14 more perished in the smoke.  Most occupants of the workshop were able to self-evacuate safely.  Extra alarms were called bringing in more firefighters from the surrounding region.

dpa

Several rescue helicopters were dispatched to the scene near Neustadt in the Black Forest region.

dpa photos

This incident that began around 8 am Eastern time (2 pm local time) is still an active scene and no further information has been released yet.

Schwarzwaelder-bote has an early report and photo gallery HERE.
Spiegel has more early info. HERE.

dpa

Thanks to Christian Lewalter – Feuerwehr Weblog.

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