Meter-high flames and explosions: During construction work in Dresden in the afternoon, a fire broke out on a gas pipe on a street. As a result, there were several explosions, the fire department said. According to the fire brigade’s knowledge so far, no one was injured. A video from the fire department showed high flames and heavy smoke. According to the police, the fire was completely extinguished in the evening.

The incident happened around 2:10 p.m. in the Friedrichstadt district. Trams also run on the affected road. Because of the intense heat, the catenary tore and also sags for several hundred meters, said the Dresden Transport Authority (DVB).

According to initial investigations, the cause of the fire was excavation work. A gas line was damaged, police said. According to initial assessments, the damage was immense, the fire brigade said. “It’s been damaged quite a bit.” Among other things, several vehicles and an excavator were damaged, some of them significantly. Some residents were not allowed into their homes until the evening.

The fire brigade had called on the population to drive around the area not far from the city center. She was also asked to keep windows and doors closed within a radius of 500 meters and to switch off air conditioning and ventilation systems. A warning was issued via the warning app Nina – but later lifted.

Police used helicopters

Around 65 professional and volunteer firefighters were on site. Police used a helicopter to get an overview. Initially, the emergency services could not approach the scene of the accident because of the explosions. Only after the network operator had stopped the gas supply did the flames gradually get smaller. Vehicle fires around the scene of the accident were also extinguished.

The situation was under control, the fire was mostly extinguished, it was said in the late afternoon. Gas is still escaping easily and in a controlled manner, a spokesman for the fire brigade explained via Twitter. The gas concentration would be measured in the immediate vicinity. According to the fire brigade, the scene of the accident was illuminated in the evening. The network operator is preparing to seal the leak, it said.

Both car and public transport came to a standstill in the area. The trams of lines 1 and 68 had to be diverted. When the track can be repaired depends on when the accident site is accessible again and how bad the damage actually is, it said. The experts at Dresden’s public transport company are currently assuming damage in the six-figure range.