• Germany's news in English
Giant fire casts pall over Hamburg city festival
Photo: DPA

Giant fire casts pall over Hamburg city festival

DPA/The Local · 9 May 2016, 10:24

Published: 09 May 2016 10:24 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Hundreds of firefighters were able to bring the blaze under control by early on Monday morning after battling through the night.

No-one was hurt during the fire, which broke out near the site of celebrations for the 827th "harbour birthday" - an enormous city festival that attracted over 1.6 million visitors during its four-day run.

Emergency services are expected to remain at the scene until around midday to make sure the fire is completely extinguished, a spokesman told broadcaster NDR.

Police and firefighters told the broadcaster that, despite the large cloud of smoke visible from the festival area, there had been no need for extra safety measures – despite a tweet from the fire service that an evacuation would be necessary.

Onlookers were also left astonished at the size of the blaze.

One musical performance planned for the harbour could not go ahead, while a stretch of the nearby Autobahn 255 was closed for a short time because of the thick smoke.

A very Hamburg tradition

But the fire didn't little to dampen turnout on the fourth and final day of the "harbour birthday", which saw around 600,000 people partying around the harbour district.

It's been a landmark in the north German calendar since 1977, when Hamburg authorities decided to commemorate Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa's 1189 decree granting the port's ships customs-free access to the sea.

Since then the anniversary has grown into a massively popular festival with music, celebrity appearances from local heroes like actor Til Schweiger, and a fireworks spectacular after sundown.

This year's celebration saw around 300 ships sail past spectators towards the sea, including a number of traditional tall ships.

A tall ship sails through Hamburg harbour during the 827th "harbour birthday". Photo: DPA

"The fabulous sunshine made sure that there was an unusually high number of Hamburgers and visitors from elsewhere," city finance chief Frank Horch told NDR on Sunday.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd