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Construction site in Hamburg: "Giant Mikado" made of scaffolding poles

Photo: Steven Hutchings / dpa

The rescue was so complicated that it took more than 35 hours: Now the Hamburg fire brigade has also recovered the last remaining body of a worker on a construction site in the Hanseatic city. Height rescuers were able to gain access to the man in the evening hours on Tuesday, the emergency services said. The body was taken to forensic medicine for further examination.

On Monday, four construction workers were killed in an accident at the construction site in Hamburg's Hafencity. A man remained in acute danger of death on Tuesday. According to initial findings, scaffolding had fallen into an elevator shaft.

According to the fire department, the scaffolding fell from the eighth floor to the basement, debris protruded up to the second floor. The rescue work on Monday was complicated: height rescuers and a technical train from the volunteer fire brigade were on duty for hours. According to the fire department, the difficulty was that the rescue workers had to secure many scaffolding parts and at the same time work their way down floor by floor. The head of operations described the mountain of rubble as a "giant Mikado" made of scaffolding poles.

Nationalities of victims corrected

Specialists from the State Office of Criminal Investigation have taken over the investigation, according to the police. However, the investigations can only begin in full once the difficult salvage work has been completed. On Tuesday evening, the fire brigade was still carrying out final clean-up work.

Three of the five victims are Albanians, according to police. The personal details of two fatalities and the most seriously injured have been secured, said a police spokesman. In the case of the other two fatalities, the personal details of the victims are still pending. However, there are no indications that they are Bulgarians. In doing so, the police are correcting corresponding information from the urban development authority.

Überseequartier is part of Hafencity, which is considered Europe's largest inner-city urban development project. On the 14-hectare site on the Elbe, a large shopping centre with many shops, restaurants, entertainment, offices, a cruise terminal, hotels and more than 1000 apartments are being built.

There have already been several serious accidents on the construction sites in Hafencity. As recently as 2 September, four workers were injured, some of them life-threatening, in a similar accident at a construction site on Hamburg's Elbe bridges, not far from Hafencity.