Several people killed in a construction site accident in Germany: Fire brigade

Several people killed in a construction site accident in Germany: Fire brigade

At least three workers were killed in the northern German city of Hamburg on Monday, when a scaffold collapsed at a construction site, and a fourth person was believed to be trapped under the rubble, a fire department spokeswoman told AFP.

The spokeswoman said a fifth worker was seriously injured in the accident in which scaffolding suddenly collapsed into the eight-storey elevator shaft shortly after 0800 GMT.

The fire department initially said five workers were killed and an unspecified number were buried under the wreckage of the disaster. The cause of the collapse is not yet clear.

The spokeswoman said, “The rescue operation is underway at full speed.”

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About 70 emergency responders were on site trying to rescue the trapped worker. The nationality of the victims has not yet been determined.

The accident occurred in Haven City, a once run-down coastal area that has become one of the largest urban construction projects in Europe.

Scaffolding has been put in place at Westfield Hamburg-Obersequartier, a commercial, residential and leisure development that is due to include a major new cruise ship terminal when completed early next year.

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The area combines new high-rise buildings with riverside cafés, bars and public squares designed to transform the former industrial area into a lively neighborhood in Germany’s second-largest city.

Parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield said in a statement sent to AFP that a “tragic accident” had occurred and that it was “supporting emergency teams and working with the authorities.”

She added: “Our thoughts are primarily with the victims and all those working on the construction site,” which was completely evacuated.

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“Rescue workers are at the scene and working closely with the police.”

The Bild daily newspaper said that the scaffolding in the building’s elevator shaft fell on at least eight workers.

Bild newspaper said the entire construction site, including about 700 workers, had been evacuated.

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Police at the scene cordoned off the site with tape, and a rescue helicopter and several ambulances arrived to transport the injured workers who were recovered from the wreckage.

Public broadcaster NDR said the workers fell from the eighth floor of a building under construction. She added that rescuers are using heavy equipment to remove rubble and recover other victims.

It quoted a fire department spokesman as saying that the rescue work itself was “extremely dangerous” for those working at the scene.

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(Tags for translation)Germany

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