A huge fire broke out in a commercial building near Zurich main station in the early hours of Saturday morning. By Sunday morning traffic was moving again in some areas, after the disruption of the previous day.
Swiss public television SRF said the Bahnhofbrücke to Central areas had been opened to traffic again in the night. The underpass near the Swiss National Museum up to the Rudolf-Brun-Brücke remain closed as the building is still unstable, SRF said, quoting the Zurich city police.
The first calls about the fire came in at 2.16 AM on Saturday, a spokesman from the Zurich emergency services told the Swiss news agency SDA-ATS. The flames shot several metres high into the sky and could be seen around the city.
The corner building’s attic was completely in flames by the time the fire service arrived at the Bahnhofquai location - which is over the road from the main stationexternal link and not far from the Coop supermarket - and the blaze then spread to further parts of the building and into another adjacent building. Firefighters were able to get the fire under control by around 4AM. The building was empty and being renovated, according to the Neue Zürcher Zeitungexternal link.
“The fast action by the fire service stopped the situation from becoming worse. However, the extent of the damage is huge,” a Zurich emergency services statementexternal link said.
This tweet by Zurich city police shows the extent of the fire from above.
Eyewitnesses say that they heard two explosions at around 2.30 AM, with at least one gas bottle exploding. Police have found parts of a gas bottle in Bahnhofstrasse. A police officer suffered ear trauma due to the explosions. It is not known if there are any further injuries at this time.
The cause of the fire also remains unknown and police are appealing for witnesses. But the building is in danger of collapse, officials have said. The Bahnhofsplatz and nearby areas have been cordoned off for safety reasons and there is disruption to trams and buses. It is not known how long this will continue, officials said late Saturday afternoon.
Zurich's protection and rescue authorities tweeted in the evening that work was being undertaken to dismantle the unsafe scaffolding on the building and secure parts of the facade.
swissinfo.ch noted at 9.15 AM on Saturday a large police and security official presence in and around the main station, which is Zurich’s largest. The site was attracting the curiosity of onlookers.
SDA-ATS/ilj/updated Sunday 26, 0710