In the city center of Halle (Saxony-Anhalt) there was an explosion on Tuesday evening with two seriously injured young people and a seriously injured 51-year-old woman. The woman was initially described as having minor injuries. The explosion happened around 6 p.m. in the public toilets in the Marktschlösschen on the market square in Halle.
A 12- and a 13-year-old and the 51-year-old were taken to the hospital with serious injuries, the police said.
Fire brigade, rescue service and police moved out to a large-scale operation. They cordoned off a large area of the partially damaged house, and residents had to temporarily leave their homes. Tram traffic on the market square was also discontinued. The city set up a contact point for residents and those affected.
There is damage to the building, a structural engineer is checking it, said the police spokesman. In addition, police specialists from Magdeburg are on their way to Halle to look for the cause of the explosion. The "Bild" reported that bystanders had noticed the smell of gas. The police did not confirm this.
The blockage was lifted after several hours because, according to the police, an acute danger situation could be ruled out. The damaged house can also be entered again, only the toilet facilities remain closed for the time being.
According to the initial investigation, the police believe it was an accident. There were therefore no indications of a possible gas accident. Investigations into the exact cause of the explosion are still ongoing.
The Marktschlösschen, which is located next to the Marktkirche, is a patrician house from the late Renaissance. It houses the Stadtmarketing Halle (Saale) with tourist information and a café.