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One dead and 11 injured in German apartment block blast

Debris from the blast in the town of Blankenburg flew up to 200ft.

This picture provided by the police in Magdeburg shows a house in Blankenburg, Germany, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Around 25 people have been injured and one person killed in an explosion in eastern Germany, according to police. (Polizei Magdeburg/dpa via AP)
This picture provided by the police in Magdeburg shows a house in Blankenburg, Germany, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. Around 25 people have been injured and one person killed in an explosion in eastern Germany, according to police. (Polizei Magdeburg/dpa via AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

One person has died and 11 were injured in an explosion at an apartment building in eastern Germany, authorities said.

The blast occurred in the apartment of a 78-year-old man, who police believe might have been the person who died.

Police said they found several containers of butane gas in the apartment in the town of Blankenburg, in a building that was not connected to the gas network, and that these may have caused the explosion.

They initially said military munitions had been found there, but later said they could not confirm that after a closer check and found no evidence of explosives.

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Emergency personnel in front of an apartment building in Blankenburg (Matthias Bein/dpa/AP)

Authorities initially thought as many as 25 people might have been injured in the explosion just before 9am but later lowered the number.

Blankenburg mayor Heiko Breithaupt said 11 people were injured, two of them seriously. A few rescue officers were suffering from the effects of inhaling smoke.

Debris from the blast flew up to 200ft, police spokesman Uwe Becker told German broadcaster n-tv. Residents were evacuated from the building, which has 60 units.

The building is on the edge of Blankenburg, a town of about 20,000 people in the Harz mountains, west of Berlin.

About 100 children at a nearby daycare centre were taken to other facilities. None of them was hurt.

PA

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