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Extinguishing work at the refugee shelter in Apolda (4 June)

Photo: Johannes Krey / dpa

Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out in a refugee shelter in Apolda. A body was found, several people were injured. Now the investigation is ongoing.

"It is now being investigated: Where is the exact fire outbreak site, what led to the fire," said a police spokesman. "Currently, there are no indications of third-party negligence, but investigations are being carried out in all directions." The assessment could therefore still change.

In the meantime, there are many indications that the victim is a nine-year-old boy from Ukraine who has been missing since the fire. Thuringia's Interior Minister Georg Maier (SPD) expressed himself accordingly on Twitter. "In Apolda, a child died today who sought protection from Putin's bombs with his family. On days like this, one could despair."

An autopsy of the body should now bring clarity. According to the police, the forensic examination should be carried out either in the course of Monday or on Tuesday.

The fire had broken out in the living area of the property. 245 people, including many children, had to leave the building, according to police. The figures on the number of injured and affected people fluctuated over the course of the day. Most recently, the police wrote in a message of eleven people who received medical treatment, nine came to a hospital.

According to the police, the public prosecutor's office in Erfurt has initiated a so-called death investigation. This is standard in fires with fatalities. There does not have to be an initial suspicion of a crime. The police have not yet been able to provide any information on the amount of property damage.

"A speedy recovery to all the injured"

Thuringia's Migration Minister Doreen Denstädt (Greens) rejected hasty assessments of the cause of the fire. She had come to Apolda herself on Sunday to find out about the situation. It is too early to make statements about the course of events, according to the politician. Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) wrote on Twitter: "My thoughts are with the family and in the grief! A speedy recovery to all those injured."

According to the district office, the building in which the fire broke out was formerly used as a school and children's home. Since 2003, refugees have been accommodated there on a long-term basis, it is not an initial reception facility. The former school had been rebuilt for this purpose.