Woman dies after ‘frying pan explosion’ at German food festival

A woman has died and several people are seriously injured after an explosion at a festival in the German town of Freudenberg-Alchen, east of Cologne.

Woman dies after ‘frying pan explosion' at German food festival
Police at the scene of the festival in Freudenberg-Alchen. Photo: DPA

Around 100 people were attending the “Backesfest” when the incident happened at a fried potatoes stand around noon on Sunday.

According to a police spokesperson, a 67-year-old woman died as a result of severe burns on Monday. 

A total of 14 people were injured and given treatment at the scene. Five people between the ages of 31 to 75-years-old are in a critical condition

They suffered severe burns, while one of them suffered a heart attack.

According to initial findings, the incident could have been caused by fat exploding in a large grill frying pan.

Some of the damage at the festival. Photo: DPA

Authorities on the scene told public broadcaster WDR that more than 100 people were at the event when the explosion happened.

Those who suffered injuries were transported by emergency helicopter to hospitals in the larger nearby cities of Dortmund, Cologne and Bochum.

Investigators were on Monday probing exactly how the accident happened.

The festival was taking place on the 675th anniversary of the village of Alchen.

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Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”