Hamburg suffer defeat, injury, fire, evacuation

The weekend got off to a catastrophic start for the Hamburger SV football club, after fans started a fire in the stadium, Rafael van der Vaart was injured and the team's hotel was evacuated over a false alarm. On top of that HSV lost the match.

Hamburg suffer defeat, injury, fire, evacuation
Photo: DPA

Hamburg’s players are reeling after an unfortunate 24 hours saw a string of disasters befall the club before, during and after the game against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday night.

It all began when Hamburg fans set off fireworks in the stadium just before kickoff, setting a giant HSV banner on fire, delaying the start of the game by five minutes while the fire brigade got the blaze under control.

The next disaster struck when the club’s Dutch midfielder Rafael van der Vaart sustained a suspected hamstring tear during a tackle in the 29th minute. The 29-year-old star was left clutching his right leg and is expected to miss at least the team’s next four remaining games before the winter break.

“It feels like a tear,” the ex-Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid midfielder told Kicker magazine.”It will be difficult to play again this year.”

Winners Düsseldorf went on to score two goals against the unlucky team, who trudged back to their hotel hoping to relax after a bad night.

But then to top it all, an alarm dragged the Hamburg players and the rest of the hotel guests out of their beds and into the street at 4:30 am. A fire extinguisher had been set off on the 12th floor, although there was no fire, wrote the paper.

The team seemed to take it all with good humour, however, breaking the news to fans with the following tweet: “Hotel evacuated. Weekend just keeps getting better.”

AFP/The Local/jlb

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.