245 people lost their homes in the fire in Apolda – a nine-year-old probably lost his life. © Michael Reichel/dpa/picture alliance
Fire in Apolda: A refugee shelter burned on Sunday morning, killing at least one person. It could be a missing child.
Update from June 4, 21:39 p.m.: Thuringia's Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) speaks of the death of the child in the fire in a refugee shelter. "In Apolda, a child died today who sought shelter from Putin's bombs with his family. On days like this, you could despair," the politician writes on Twitter.
Police had not yet confirmed that the body was the missing nine-year-old. This must be shown by a forensic examination, the results are expected on Monday morning.
Maier promises to solve the case completely. He writes: "I will do everything in my power to ensure that the cause of the fire is investigated. There must be complete clarity here." How the fire started, the police are currently clarifying in a death investigation.
First report from 4 June, 15.45 p.m.: Apolda – Early Sunday morning (4 June), a fire broke out in one of the shelters for refugees in Apolda (Thuringia). Ten people were injured in the fire. All of them inhaled too much smoke, and one also broke his leg.
Dead in fire in refugee shelter in Apolda: Is it a missing child?
Emergency services also found a dead man. The police said it was a male corpse. At the same time, a nine-year-old boy from Ukraine is missing. Whether he is the dead man is to be clarified by an autopsy.
On Sunday morning, a fire breaks out in a shelter for refugees in Apolda: emergency services find a dead person in the building. © Johannes Krey/dpa/picture alliance
A total of 245 people are registered at the shelter, they come from Ukraine, Syria and Afghanistan, among others, tagesschau.de said, citing the police. Several hundred people had to be brought to safety. The German Red Cross provides them with water and blankets in a gym. There are many children among those rescued, which is why the helpers also organize baby food. The former school building is uninhabitable after the fire, and people are now to be taken by bus to an initial reception centre in Hermsdorf.
Fire in Apolda: Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser expresses her condolences to those affected
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) expressed her sympathy to those affected on Twitter. She wrote: "This terrible news makes me very sad. My deepest sympathy goes out to the family and the refugees who lived here. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the rescue workers who helped quickly and saved many people from the fire."
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Cause of fire in refugee shelter in Apolda unclear: police start death investigation
It is currently unclear how the fire started. The public prosecutor's office in Erfurt has initiated a so-called death investigation, a police spokesman told the German Press Agency (dpa). This is the normal procedure in cases of fire with fatalities. An initial suspicion of a crime does not have to be in the room.
In Eitting, Upper Bavaria, an asylum seeker shelter burned down at the end of April. The major fire puzzled fire brigades and criminal investigators. Two fires had broken out.