Germany: 5 rescuers in an induced coma after the Dusseldorf explosion

After an arson explosion in the city of Ratingen near Dusseldorf, 5 fire and rescue workers fell into an induced coma on Friday, according to the Ratingen Fire Department.

The authorities had transported the injured firefighters to specialized burn clinics in several cities in and around Dusseldorf.

“Colleagues sustained burns on up to 40 percent of their bodies,” the fire department said.

Earlier, authorities issued an arrest warrant for the suspect on nine counts of attempted murder, the police and the Dusseldorf public prosecutor’s office announced on Friday.

Police said the blast in a high-rise building on Thursday was perpetrated in a malicious and fatal manner.

Dietmar Henning of Dusseldorf police said on Friday that a resident opened the apartment door and deliberately set fire to a container with flammable liquids, which he then threw at police forces, the fire department and emergency services.

“Emergency personnel, who caught fire, have left the scene,” Henning said.

Police said a 25-year-old policewoman and a 29-year-old police officer were seriously injured and seven firefighters were seriously injured.

In all, 33 people were injured in the blast, according to the authorities.

Dusseldorf police chief Heike Schultz said the suspect had not yet commented during his interrogation on Friday on the accusations against him.

The accused (57 years old) waived his right to obtain legal aid, and a public defender was appointed for him.