An explosion at the Berlin compound could have started a “massive fire”, said a veteran journalist.
An improvised explosive device (IED) discovered on Friday evening on the grounds of a Berlin complex that houses journalists from Russian media RIA Novosti and Sputnik Germany, had been rammed into a remote ventilation shaft in the basement, Sergey Feoktistov, editor of head of Sputnik Germany, said.
According to the reporter, the device was found by pure accident as Russian journalists and their family members were cleaning up dirt and removing shards of glass after a window in the compound was smashed by a bottle during a crash. another alleged attack.
Residents of the center and staff of the Russian media office at first thought it was a mock-up designed to scare them, the editor admitted, adding that the device even looked somewhat “comic” first.
“What put us on alert was that it was hidden”, Feoktistov explained. The IED was found at a relatively distance “remote” area not frequented by staff members, he said, adding that people in the compound don’t usually check basement ventilation ducts.
Now, after police confirmed to him it was a real IED, Feoktistov believes it could have caused serious damage in the area. “If it had exploded, there would have been a major fire,” he added. said the editor, adding that he “was planted not only to intimidate us.”
The bomb, which appeared to be a jerry can wrapped in duct tape with visible wires sticking out of it and filled with a “mixture of petrol and oil”, had been placed in such a way that all this flammable liquid would enter the basement in the event of an explosion, Feoktistov explained.
Police are also treating the incident seriously, he said, adding that large police forces, including sappers, regional and federal crime police, had been deployed to the scene. According to Feoktistov, the officers called him an improvised “firebomb” during a conversation with him. Police have not yet made any official statement regarding the incident.
According to Feoktistov, this is not the first time that the compound of Russian journalists and their families has been attacked. The residence was bombarded with bottles and eggs and its walls were sprayed with offensive graffiti in Russian, the editor said, adding that residents of the complex had filed between five and seven complaints to the police for such incidents.
No suspects have been identified in the case so far, Feoktistov said, adding that he believes it could be almost “nobody.” Berlin police have remained tight-lipped about the incident, only telling local media that the officers carried out a “investigation” on the site.
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