An explosion in a residential building in Stuttgart has left a field of rubble. Parts of the building collapsed, several people were injured. An 85-year-old woman was still missing on Monday many hours after the accident. There are indications that the person is in the rubble, said a spokesman for the Stuttgart fire brigade of the dpa. Emergency services fought the flames in the morning.

At 3:00 a.m., a building exploded in Stuttgart's Köllestraße. Parts of it collapsed. Four people, including two children, were injured and hospitalized. They were able to save themselves from the house, according to the fire department. The search for the 85-year-old woman had top priority, said a spokesman for the police. Corpse sniffer dogs are on site, according to the fire department. The Federal Agency for Technical Relief arrived with heavy clearing equipment.

The right part of the building was completely destroyed, the left was badly damaged, said a police spokesman. The surrounding houses were partially evacuated. Around 60 residents were able to return to their homes after some time.

Roller shutters melted in the heat

Official information on the cause of the explosion was initially not available. Presumably, a gas explosion is the reason for the fire. "I woke up from the noise, from the bang," said one resident. "Shortly afterwards there was a fire. We immediately called the fire department."

A fire brigade spokesman said that the forces had a picture of destruction. A large part of the building was already in ruins. The heat development was so strong that the shutters in neighboring buildings melted. As a result of the blast wave of the explosion, many window panes were also broken.

The fire has not yet been extinguished, but it is under control. He spoke of 150 forces on the ground. Gas and electricity had been switched off in the affected area. With a view to the people who were able to save themselves from the collapsed house, the spokesman said: "There were certainly many guardian angels in action."

"What a misfortune in my constituency in #Stuttgart-West," wrote Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir (Greens) on Twitter. "I keep my fingers crossed that the missing person will be found quickly and safely. I wish the injured a speedy and speedy recovery."