Two teams have shock exits from German Cup

Bayer Leverkusen and six-time winner Werder Bremen were both eliminated from the German Cup at the first hurdle on Saturday, but Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund eased into round two.

Two teams have shock exits from German Cup
Dynamo celebrates after knocking out Leverkusen Photo: DPA

In their first competitive game under new coach Robin Dutt, Leverkusen, who were Bundesliga runners-up last season, were sent packing by second division newcomers Dynamo Dresden in remarkable circumstances, throwing away a 3-0 lead to go down 4-3.

Goals from Eren Derdiyok, Sidney Sam and Andre Schurrle had Leverkusen seemingly on easy street, but the hosts came back to force extra-time, before Alexander Schnetzler’s winner sent the 26,000 home fans wild with delight.

Meanwhile, Bremen threw away a one-goal advantage to lose 2-1 at third-tier

outfit Heidenheim.

Defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund had no such problems, easing to a 3-0 victory at Sandhausen of the 3rd division.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice, with Japanese international Shinji Kagawa also on target.

Wolfsburg are the other major name to be eliminated so far. Felix Magath’s men were beaten 3-2 at fourth-flight RB Leipzig.

Cup holders Schalke play on Sunday, and Bayern Munich are in action on Monday.


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Chemical reaction likely to blame for deadly blast at German plant

An explosion that killed seven people at a hazardous waste site in Germany in July was likely caused by a chemical reaction inside a waste storage tank, local authorities said Monday, citing an interim report.

Chemical reaction likely to blame for deadly blast at German plant
The site of the Chempark explosion on July 27th. Photo: dpa | Oliver Berg

The July 27 blast at the Chempark chemical complex in the western city of Leverkusen, which also injured 31 workers, was heard several kilometres away and rattled the windows of nearby homes.

It sent up a large cloud of black smoke that prompted authorities to urge locals to stay indoors, although later examinations showed no danger to residents’ health.

The interim findings, announced by the Cologne district government, suggest that a chemical reaction “probably” caused waste liquid in storage tank 3 to self-heat and rapidly become warmer, leading to a build-up of pressure it was unable to withstand.

“The whole process happened so quickly that the safety mechanisms were no longer able to dissipate the pressure. When the pressure exceeded the design pressure of the container, it exploded,” the interim report is quoted as saying.

The explosion then triggered a large blaze at the park’s waste storage and incineration site that took firefighters hours to put out.

Chempark operator Currenta said in a statement that the early findings match its own investigations.

The Cologne district government said it was awaiting further expert analysis before final conclusions could be made about the cause of the blast.

Prosecutors in Cologne have opened an investigation against unknown persons on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter and causing an explosion through negligence.

All those killed and injured in the explosion worked at the chemical site.

The blast area, in Leverkusen’s Buerrig district, was separate from Chempark’s main industrial park that houses numerous companies including Bayer, Lanxess and Evonik Industries.

READ MORE: Death toll in German chemical blast climbs to six