Twelve disabled people have drowned after their care home was hit by the floods in Germany, officials claimed.
The tragedy happened when floods overwhelmed a care home hosting disabled people in the town of Sinzig, in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate state, the worst hit region, where hundreds are believed to be missing.
According to a report by the Bild German newspaper and other media, the water appears to have swept away the home’s residents. One man, who used to live in the home, is said to have shouted for help in the water for hours, though it is unclear if he survived.
The reports said the victims were residents with severe disabilities.
“This is terrible. Our employees are traumatised, but they still help as best they can. They are also in the process of looking after the other residents,“ Stefan Möller, one of the bosses of the home, told Bild.
“The residents were not alone. We had a night watch in the neighbouring house. At the request of the fire brigade, the building should have been evacuated. But when our employee arrived, he didn’t have enough time as the water arrived too - he couldn’t get out and couldn’t help,“ he added.
As the water started to recede, stunned residents in the worst affected towns inspected what was left of their homes and neighbourhoods.
In many areas, houses were reduced to piles of debris and broken beams. Roads were blocked by wreckage, and fallen trees and fish flapped and gasped on puddles of water in the middle of the street.
More than 100 people have now perished in the floods across Germany, with more victims in neighbouring countries, including Belgium.
The care home was located around 100 metres away from the River Ahr.