Berlin fire OK, ammo dump still a concern

·1-min read

A fire accompanied by explosions at an ammunition dump in a Berlin forest has been contained and large parts of it extinguished, but authorities are still waiting to get access to the dump itself.

The fire broke out in the early hours of Thursday in the Grunewald forest on the western edge of the German capital.

The site is far from the nearest homes and no one had to be evacuated, but authorities declared a one kilometre exclusion zone, while a nearby highway and railway line remained closed on Friday.

Fire service spokesman Thomas Kirstein said wildfires in the area around the ammunition dump had been largely extinguished by Friday morning.

Authorities are now hoping to get a close look at the site itself, with help from armoured vehicles and robots, after being unable to do so on Thursday amid concern about continuing sporadic detonations.

It remains unclear what triggered the first explosions at the ammunition dump early on Thursday, when temperatures in the region reached up to 38C.

The site was created in Cold War-era West Berlin in 1950, and 25 tonnes or more of fireworks, World War II ammunition and other explosive ordnance was stored there before the fire started.

Controlled blasts are carried out there twice a year.

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