German man arrested after explosion in NRW flats

German man arrested after explosion in NRW flats

Police have arrested a German man after he caused an explosion and set fire to a block of flats in North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday morning, injuring many emergency workers.

Man causes explosion and sets fire to housing block in Germany

German police were called to a block of flats in Ratingen, North Rhine-Westphalia on Thursday mid-morning after receiving a distress call from a “helpless person” claiming that there was a fire in their building.

When emergency services and 10 firefighters arrived at the scene the 57-year-old man was inside his flat with the door open. This is when the explosion went off. After setting off the explosion, he went further into the flat and set the house on fire, wounding 24 emergency services employees.

"The man, after he caused this explosion, closed the door again, retreated and started to set the place on fire," NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul told WDR. According to German tabloid Bild, the house had been doused in petrol before the explosion.

Suspect is a possible coronavirus denier

When emergency services did enter, the body of an older woman was also found. She is thought to be the mother of the suspect, who police say had died long before the explosion. 

According to reports by SPIEGEL, the suspect was a coronavirus denier, though these claims have not yet been confirmed by police. The man had been in trouble with the police before, but only for minor offences. 

Thumb image credit: Animaflora PicsStock /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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HermanGross2 19:23 | 12 May 2023

I don't understand why it was necessary to mention that the man was a coronavirus "denier"? The most irrelevant connection you could possibly come up with, which is NOT even confirmed yet. Smh