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Police and firegighter hurt in Germany explosion

Police officers and firefighters have been injured, some seriously, in an explosion in the western German town of Ratingen, police say.

Officers had responded to reports of a person in a vulnerable state in a flat.

Inside the flat they found a fire in one of the rooms and a man then used a device to set off an explosion, the regional interior minister said.

Heavily armed police stormed the flat and arrested a man aged 57, police said.

Herbert Reul, North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister, told officials that a body had been found in the apartment.

Mr Reul said 10 firefighters and two police officers had been injured.

A police spokeswoman told reporters that some of those hurt were in a potentially life-threatening condition.

The incident led to a major police operation in the town north-east of Düsseldorf

Journalists at the scene reported seeing police snipers take up positions on the roofs of neighbouring blocks.

Footage showed smoke coming from the high-rise apartment block as several loud bangs were heard.

Police said it was unclear what had caused the first blast.

Security sources told local media a targeted attack could not be ruled out.

Mr Reul said police had been called to the apartment after a residents’ organisation expressed concern that someone’s letterbox was overflowing.

Police then called firefighters to help gain entry to the apartment, he said.

Source: bbcnews

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