Massive warehouse fire in Hamburg, Germany; toxic fumes alert
Police warned people in the German city of Hamburg to close their windows early on Sunday, 9 April 2023, after a large fire that engulfed several warehouses sent black, chemical-laden smoke drifting over the city. The fire broke out around 4h30am in the Rothenburgsort district, located in the eastern part of the country's second-largest city. Several warehouses were ablaze and the plume of smoke could be seen from miles away. Public broadcaster NDR said the fire involved containers with hydrogen sulphide, a toxic and foul-smelling substance, forcing fire fighters and police officers in the area to wear breathing apparatus.
"This is a really extraordinary, difficult operation," said a fire department spokesman from the site of the German Press Agency. He assumed that the extinguishing work, in which around 210 emergency personnel were involved, would continue throughout the day. Only then can the police begin their fire investigation.
More than 200 fire fighters from the Hamburg Fire Brigade had brought the blaze under control by early Sunday afternoon.
About 140 people were evacuated on Sunday and it is not yet clear how dangerous the situation is, a police spokesperson said. The smoke drifted from there toward the city centre, halting long-distance trains between Hamburg and Berlin and other cities.
A public safety alert conveyed through a mobile phone app advised people in Hamburg to close windows, turn off ventilation and air conditioning and avoid the area. No injuries have been reported.
Sources: Euro News, Al Jazeera, Merkur, Polizei Hamburg
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