I don’t think there’s any serious doubt that cultural enrichment was involved in this little escapade of explosive arson, given that it occurred in the Neukölln district of Berlin — perhaps the most culturally enriched neighborhood in Germany — and an “Arab snack bar” was the target.
Explosion in Neukölln — Police suspect arson
Berlin-Neukölln — Explosion in a Neukölln apartment building on Monday morning. The police suspect arson.
Towards 3:30 AM a loud boom at the apartment building on the Neukölln Sonnenallee, at the corner of Pannierstrasse. Glass splinters from a window rained down onto the sidewalk. The explosion happened in the basement under an Arab snack bar.
By the time the fire rescue arrived, thick smoke was welling out of the snack bar and the basement windows. Eight residents of the apartment building brought themselves to safety by hurrying outside.
[Photo caption (not shown): fire rescue team bring their injured colleague to safety]
Before the fire rescue even arrived, police had already gone into the building to bring residents, among them children, to safety.
One policeman had to be guided to safety by the fire rescue using a smoke mask when the smoke in the stairway became impenetrable.
A 92-year-old resident also had to be rescued using a mask. “A medical doctor examined her,” says the fire rescue spokesperson.
Arab snack bar had just recently opened
The fire department had 40 men on location. One fireman was injured during firefighting operations and was brought to the hospital. He had dislocated his shoulder while working in the dark, smoky cellar. Another fireman suffered contusions.
While the firefighting operation was ongoing, residents of the house waited in a parked fire rescue bus. By around 5:20am the fire was under control. The Sonnenallee had been closed during the operation.
According a police spokeswoman, the fire commissioner’s office will investigate for first-degree arson. The background of the explosion is still unclear. Fire investigators were still collecting evidence in the afternoon. The Arab snack bar had only just recently opened its doors on March 1.