Police, firefighters injured in western Germany explosion

Police, firefighters injured in western Germany explosion
A 57-year-old suspect was arrested in the Ratingen, North Rhine-Westphalia following the explosion in Germany on Thursday.
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Ten firefighters and two policemen were injured in the explosion in Ratingen, Germany [Getty]

Twelve emergency services workers were injured in an explosion at a block of flats in western Germany on Thursday, authorities said, without giving details of what caused the blast.

The explosion happened inside an apartment in the high-rise building in Ratingen, in North Rhine-Westphalia state, police said on Twitter.

Ten firefighters and two police officers were injured, some of them seriously, Herbert Reul, North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister, told reporters.

A 57-year-old man was arrested in the flat where the explosion took place and a body was found, police said.

The emergency services had been called to the site on Thursday morning by a person in distress, according to the police.

The explosion happened after they arrived.

Police on Twitter referred to a "major operation" at the site.

The body was the suspect's mother, according to the Bild daily.

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The flat had apparently been doused with petrol or another flammable substance, it said.

The arrested man was a suspected Covid denier, according to Der Spiegel magazine.

Reul said it was "incomprehensible" to him that police officers and firefighters went on a mission to help and "ended up risking their lives".