A young boy and a man died in an accident during an exit with an excavator in Toppenstedt (Harburg district) in Lower Saxony.

Ten other children were injured on Saturday evening, some seriously, four of them had to be taken to clinics by helicopter, as Mathias Wille, spokesman for the Harburg district fire brigade, told the German Press Agency. According to an emergency chaplain, the child killed was five years old.

The accident happened during a camp that fathers had organized with their children of kindergarten age. A group was driven “for amusement” by an excavator over a dirt road, said the spokesman for the fire brigade. Meanwhile, the people were in a kind of lattice box that the wheel loader had lifted up.

“That’s always the horror idea”

On an exit, the box broke off and fell to the ground. The vehicle is now to be examined more closely, an expert is on site, said Wille. A police drone flew over the area on Saturday evening. According to the fire department, the deceased father and the deceased child were not related. The spokesman could not initially say whether children are in mortal danger.

“That’s always the horror idea when children are affected. Terrible scenes have already happened here. Parents had to be prevented from running to the scene of the accident,” reported Wille. He could not remember such a disaster in the area in the past 20 years.

Excavators confiscated for investigation

The excavator was confiscated by the police for investigation. The driver was taken to a police station, police spokesman Jan Kr├╝ger said on Saturday evening at the scene of the accident. “Routine” investigations would be carried out for possible influence by alcohol or drugs. A drone documents the site from the air, said the spokesman. The work is still ongoing. They would drag on into the night.

According to the police, the accident was probably caused by a ruptured hydraulic hose. As a result, the box got detached from the excavator and fell down.

It was not initially known how many people had taken part in the camp. On Saturday evening, individual tents could still be seen on the meadow, which is said to belong to the community. It was not a daycare event, said the deputy head of the Toppenstedt integrative kindergarten late on Saturday evening of the dpa. The camping was organized privately.

Toppenstedt has a good 2000 inhabitants and is around 35 kilometers south of Hamburg.