June 16, 2024

A volunteer firefighter died during a rescue operation during heavy rain and flooding in the south of Germany, local police said on Sunday.

Four emergency workers were attempting to reach people trapped by the flood waters near Pfaffenhofen in the region of Bavaria when their boat capsized.

Three of the crew managed to pull themselves to safety, while the fourth, a 42-year-old, was found dead in the water by other rescue workers at around 2:20 am (0020 GMT).

The German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, said on X: “I am saddened by the death of a firefighter in Pfaffenhofen. My thoughts are with his family and colleagues. “We owe thanks and respect to the rescue workers and helpers who are fighting the consequences of the floods in many places.”

A rescue operation was underway to find another volunteer firefighter in Offingen, Bavaria. The 22-year-old fell into the flood waters after his vessel capsized overnight, local police said.

Heavy rains that started on Friday have caused flooding across the southern states of Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria.

The German rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, said on Sunday that the rail link between Stuttgart and Augsburg was closed due to the severe weather.

Two carriages of a high-speed train travelling on the line derailed after a landslide, according to media reports.

None of the passengers on board were injured in the incident late on Saturday, close to Schwäbisch Gmünd in Baden-Württemberg.

Several districts in Bavaria have declared emergencies due to high water levels.

The German weather service warned of more heavy rain to come in southern Germany on Sunday.

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