Two killed, two seriously injured after boulder collapses onto house in Stein an der Traun, Germany

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cquote1.svg I have never seen anything like this. Cquote2.svg

—Joachim Herrmann, Bavarian Interior Minister

Two people were killed and two others were seriously injured yesterday when a boulder collapsed onto a house in the German town of Stein an der Traun, south-east of Munich. A family of four were said to have been watching television together in the lounge when a large lump of rock, about 50 tons, broke off from a 50 foot cliff above the house.

The boulder fell from about 15 metres above the residence and landed on top of the house, crushing it. The cause of the rock fall is unknown, but police have said that there had been no prior signs that the cliff was unstable.

The accident, which happened at approximately 1940 local time, killed a 45-year-old father and his 18-year-old daughter. A 40-year-old mother and her 16-year-old son were seriously injured and were taken to hospital for treatment, after a rescue operation that lasted into the early hours of the following morning. The task involved up to 250 rescue personnel, some with sniffer dogs.

An official from the international humanitarian movement the Red Cross said "[w]e made contact with them early on and kept talking with them through the night as we pulled away at the debris." Joachim Herrmann, the Bavarian Interior Minister, spoke of his thoughts about the incident. "I have never seen anything like this," he was quoted as saying. "This is an extremely sad and terrible day."


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