In Berlin’s Grunewald forest, the police operate a blasting site, where found munitions are destroyed in a controlled manner. But in the early hours of the morning, an unplanned explosion occurs, causing a fire. The fire department has problems reaching the scene.
After an explosion at a police blasting site in Berlin’s Grunewald forest, the adjacent forest is in flames and the fire is spreading uncontrollably. According to the fire department, it currently affects an area of about 1.5 hectares, or about 15,000 square meters. There have been no injuries so far. Residential buildings are also not in danger at this time, he said. “We will prevent that,” a spokesman said. The nearest residential buildings are at least two kilometers away, he added.
Further explosions are occurring again and again. Regional, long-distance and suburban rail traffic is interrupted, as the railroad announced on its website. The AVUS highway between Spanischer Allee and Hüttenweg will probably remain closed in both directions for the whole day, as will Kronprinzessinnenweg and Havelchaussee, the Berlin traffic control center said.
The Berlin Fire Department assumes that the fire in Grunewald will keep them busy all day. There is still an “enormous danger” from explosions and flying debris for the emergency services, a fire department spokesman told ntv. He said firefighters had withdrawn to around 1,000 meters around the flames. The fire therefore continues to blaze uncontrolled. There are 100 emergency forces of the fire department as well as police forces on site. Further task forces as well as special forces of the German Federal Armed Forces have been requested. Water cannons and evacuation tanks arrived on site.
“Phase of consultation and observation”
“Right now we are in the consultation and observation phase,” a fire department spokesman said. The high level of drought in the area is expected to affect the fire’s progress, they said. The expected heat will be especially hard on emergency personnel, he added.
According to a police spokesman, it is still completely unclear how the explosion could have occurred. Found munitions are stored on the site and defused in a controlled manner by the Berlin police’s explosive ordnance disposal service.
The authorities are informing the population about the major fire on the Warnapps and have already called for people to avoid the danger area. Residents should keep windows and doors closed. Ventilation and air conditioning systems are to be turned off.