Firefighter killed during rescue efforts in flood-hit southern Germany

  03 June 2024    Read: 474
Firefighter killed during rescue efforts in flood-hit southern Germany

A firefighter died Sunday while taking part in rescue operations as floods, caused by heavy rains, wreaked havoc across southern Germany.

Local authorities said the 42-year-old drowned after his rubber dinghy capsized near Pfaffenhofen in the Bavaria region.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz extended his condolences to the dead firefighter’s family.

"I am saddened by the death of a firefighter in Pfaffenhofen. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues," Scholz wrote on X.

Some 85,000 people have been affected by the flood caused after two dams burst due to heavy rain in Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm. After attempts to repair the dams failed, hundreds of people were evacuated to safety.

The meteorology department said the severe downpour since Friday saw the average monthly rainfall during a single day.

Kisslegg in the Baden-Württemberg State recorded an average of 130 kilograms (287 pounds) of precipitation per square meter in 24 hours Friday. An average of 129 kg (284 lb) of rain per square meter was recorded in Bavaria’s Bad Worishofen.

Visiting affected areas with Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Soder said nearly 40,000 rescue personnel were working in flood-hit areas in the country’s south under heavy continuous rain.

"We owe thanks and respect to the rescue workers and helpers who are fighting the consequences of the floods in many places," said Scholz, thanking the rescue teams.

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