Huge fire breaks out in Ludwigshafen

Nine people – including five children and a pregnant woman – died after an apartment building in the western city of Ludwigshafen burst into flames on Sunday night. About 60 people were injured.

Witnesses say that they heard a bang before the fire quickly spread. The building, which was home to two Turkish families, was filled with people.

The area just outside of the building was also busy, because of a carnival parade attended by 250,000 people, which finished shortly before the fire broke out. The fire was the biggest the city centre has seen since World War II.

Two children were rescued from the fire, having survived because they hid themselves behind a sofa. Around 20 people were taken to hospital, three of whom were seriously injured. The house was largely made of wood, which allowed the fire to spread quickly. Firemen were only able to rescue people through the windows.

In desperation, parents threw two small children out the window. Miraculously, the children lived, as they were caught by firemen below. The fate of the people who threw them out the window is still unclear.

The rescue was dramatic, as people had to jump at great heights to escape. One woman died while jumping. Around 60 firemen were at the scene, accompanied by over 500 rescue workers. Police say 52 people lived in the building.

The city of Ludwigshafen has created and publicized a bank account for donations to help the victims of the fire. In addition, there will be a book of condolences in the city hall.