Friday, 29. August 2014
28. 04. 14. - 14:00
An explosion which destroyed a house in Vienna was caused deliberately by a 19-year-old man who died after he filled his apartment with gas before lighting a cigarette lighter, according to police.
Teenage football hooligan Dominik S., had reportedly constantly argued with neighbours at the property on the busy Mariahilfer Strasse shopping street who had often complained about the noise he made or the fact that he had parties in which friends would throw water-filled condoms onto the street below. The neighbours had also complained about the fact that he kept giant bird eating spiders in an aquarium in the flat and was often seen wandering around the building with one or other of the spiders on his shoulder.
Local Martin Graf said: "He was always in an argument with the other people in the property, he didn't make any friends with his giant spider and was also a member of the right-wing football fan group the Ultras."
But he was also depressed about not having a job, no money, and then learning that his teenage girlfriend was three months pregnant.
He told friends that he had had enough, and was planning to kill himself, and on the day he died told them: "You won't see me again, this is my last day alive, so goodbye."
After manipulating the gas valve so that it flooded into his flat, he then lit the lighter at 10am Saturday morning causing the massive explosion across the top two floors of the house including the roof to collapse. The teenager was alive for about an hour after being pulled from the rubble, but died from his injuries. When he was pulled from the debris, he even still have the lighter in his hand.
A 48-year-old woman living in one of the flats above is in a critical condition after she was found eight hours later also buried under the rubble.
Eye witnesses at the time of the explosion described hearing a deafening bang and then suddenly the street was covered in dust so thick they could not see their hands in front of their face.
"I thought a car bomb had exploded outside the door," says neighbour Tony Pusztai. "The walls quaked and people ran out of their houses and shops on the street."
A dramatic rescue operation involving 35 vehicles and 110 rescue people was quickly launched and thirteen inhabitants were immediately brought out of the house and taken to hospital, with ten being released soon after.
Police said that the main road on which the house was located would remain closed for the time being because of the danger that the property might collapse further. The house was secured by firemen by Sunday evening so a structural engineer can today enter the building and decide on the best way to proceed with dismantling the rubble and repairing the damage.
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