Euskirchen In the Rheinbach ammunition depot of the Bundeswehr in Euskirchen, a fuel tank caused a major fire. A huge cloud of smoke spread over the site and could still be seen from a distance.
There was a major fire in the ammunition depot of the Bundeswehr in Euskirchen on Ringsheimer Allee on Tuesday afternoon. The cause was that a fuel tank was being filled on the premises by an outside company and it caught fire. No persons were injured during the incident.
As reported by the emergency services, there had been several explosions on the site of the ammunition depot in the afternoon. A large column of smoke could be seen above the ammunition depot from 3.30 p.m. onwards, which only dissolved after about two hours. In the meantime, new plumes of jet-black smoke had risen and moved in the direction of Rheinbach.
The fire department is on the scene with a large contingent of 150 emergency personnel. As before, post-extinguishing work is being carried out. Under the direction of the task forces from Euskirchen several defense teams work on the area, which fought the fire in the afternoon in many cases equipped with breathing masks against the fumes. The Ringsheimer Allee was widely cordoned off in the area of the ammunition depot.
"Tank bomb" catches fire
As Horst Poppels, head of the Rheinbach ammunition depot, reported in the evening, the cause of the fire was a so-called "tank bomb", a 950-liter underground fuel tank that was to be filled by an outside company. For reasons that have not yet been explained, the fire broke out during this process. In addition to the fuel tank, the tanker truck and another vehicle belonging to the external company also caught fire.
According to Poppels, the separated security area, where the Bundeswehr stores its ammunition, was not endangered at any time. The explosion noises, which could be heard in the afternoon from the area, could have come for example from the burst vehicle tyres, speculated the director of the ammunition depot.
Pollutants are not a danger to the population
Measurements of pollutants, which were carried out in the evening, showed that there was no danger to the population. Shortly after the appearance of the smoke column, the warning apps Nina and Katwarn had already reported the spread of fire smoke "in the area of Euskirchen/city border to Rheinbach/area of Gut Waldau" and warned of health hazards.
Due to the acute danger situation, the mayor of Rheinbach, Ludger Banken, also appeared at the ammunition depot site in the afternoon to get an overview of the situation.
(Original text: Jonas Dirker/Translation: Mareike Graepel)