Unusual noises in Berlin trigger multiple calls to emergency services

Unusual noises in Berlin trigger multiple calls to emergency services

Is there anything more unsettling than unfamiliar noises in the dead of night? On Thursday, residents of Berlin were awoken by loud, eerie noises in the middle of the night. The noises prompted a flurry of calls to the local emergency services.

Berlin residents roused by midnight noises

Many Berliners will have woken up on Friday morning happy to still be in one piece, after loud noises in the middle of the night left many wondering if violent weather or even heavy artillery was descending on the capital.

The deep, loud rumbling that could be heard every 15 to 20 seconds prompted numerous calls to the police and fire department. When asked, police initially said that there was no emergency and it was assumed that the noises were caused by the release of steam from a local power plant, something that had happened a few days ago following a machine malfunction.

Noises blamed on power plant operation

On Friday morning, Berlin police released a statement clarifying the cause of the noise: “Last night numerous people called the police and fire brigade because they heard extremely loud bangs several times and were concerned. These noises, which could be identified by the emergency services in Siemensstadt, began around 12.40am. There were about 20 bangs in quick succession in a combined heat and power plant on Otternbuchtstrasse, where, according to the current state of knowledge, safety valves in a steam line had opened due to control fluctuations, causing these loud noises.”

The statement went on to say that no one was injured and that there was never any danger to the population.

Racoon caused similar incident in 2017

The event might remind Berliners of 2017, when a racoon caused a similar incident at the Reuter West power station in the Spandau district of Berlin. The racoon somehow found its way into the secure area of switchgear and ended up short-circuiting the transformer. This led to the transformer going offline, something which “is accompanied by a pretty loud bang and a very bright flash," said a Vattenfall spokesman at the time.

This led to loud, unsettling noises being heard around Berlin, as water vapour in the pipes had to be released. “This triggered the noise,” said the spokesperson.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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