After an arson attack in Prenzlauer Berg, the last 2,400 households were reconnected to the grid on Saturday at 3.10 pm. 9200 had no electricity since 3 am. Unknowns had set fire to a bridge over the Ringbahn.
District heating and other supply lines are located on the bridge. The fire was significant, Stromnetz Berlin spokesman Olaf Weidner said in the morning.
The walkway a few meters away was not damaged. According to the police, the residents of an apartment building on Copenhagener Strasse had to temporarily leave their apartments. The fire was extinguished around 3:45 a.m.
Affected by the power outage is a “central part of Prenzlauer Berg” — parts of Schönhauser Allee, Danziger Strasse, the area around Jahnsportpark, Eberswalder Strasse and adjacent smaller streets, Weidner said. Some traffic lights in the area also went out.
The fire brigade was alerted around 3 a.m. The bridge was completely engulfed in flames, police said. After the extinguishing work, fire experts from the criminal investigation and state security investigated the crime scene.
It’s still open or that State security responsible for extremist acts the National Criminal Investigation Department takes over the investigation. Non-political arson or negligence, ie accidental arson, is also possible.
Deutsche Bahn’s technology was not affected, a spokesperson said when asked. It was only during the extinguishing work that traffic under the bridge had to be temporarily halted on the S-Bahn and long-distance railway tracks.
Multiple arson attacks in recent years
Since 2011, there have been several arson attacks on the technical infrastructure of the railway. Various left-extremist groups had been guilty of the actions on the internet.
In the confessions, the perpetrators regularly included the names of Icelandic volcanoes, such as Hekla or Grimsvötn. The letter about the first attack was signed “The Rumble of Eyjafjallajökull”. The perpetrators were called “Vulcans” within the police.
After a hiatus of several years, there were again attacks in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2018 there was a similar attack as on Saturday: On the Charlottenburg Mörschbrücke power lines were set on fire. 6000 households were without power for hours. The last one was exactly a year ago: A “feminist-revolutionary-anarchist cell” wanted to prevent the eviction of the house with the attack on the cable car Liebigstrae 34 protest.
A self-incrimination for the current crime has not yet been published. The left-extremist scene calls on Saturday to a demonstration against the evacuation of the “Köpi” -Wagenplatz On.
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No perpetrator has been caught yet. In the attacks on railway cables, the perpetrator or perpetrators each caused enormous effects with little effort. Sometimes there were no trains for days and the mobile network was also affected.
The police have suspected for years that at least one of the perpetrators must have had prior knowledge of rail traffic, since the crucial nodes were always hit.
On Saturday, the damage was again significant. According to the spokesperson for the electricity network, the repair only started in the morning. The fire brigade extinguished the fire around 4 a.m., after which the police searched for clues for a long time.
Police union: ‘This is not a political expression’
The police used a special organizational structure to monitor the situation at night, coordinate the operation and respond quickly to possible follow-up actions.
Police Union (GdP) spokesman Benjamin Jendro tweeted: “This is not political speech. Anyone who commits arson attacks on important parts of our infrastructure and supply structure is acting absolutely futilely and is attacking our democratic coexistence. These extremist attacks may not claim human lives, but they are nevertheless an insidious attempt to destabilize something that should not be belittled.” (with dpa)