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Lovesick German accidentally blows up building

Suicide attempt turns into murder

A German charged with murder for causing a gas explosion that destroyed half an apartment building and killed his neighbor, told the court that he was only trying to kill himself because he was lovesick.

With nothing left to live for, his options were limited. The 22-year old on trial in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, said he had deliberately opened the natural gas taps in his apartment intending to commit suicide after his girlfriend broke up with him by phone.

When the 17-year old later arrived to pick her belongings up from his flat, she unwittingly lit a cigarette which ignited the gas and blew up half of the building, injuring 15 people and killing a 45-year old neighbor.

The 22-year-old man and his ex-girlfriend, however, survived the blast. Ralf Wolters, a court spokesman, said the man said he did not realize there was a risk of explosion.

Wolters said the 22-year-old was charged with murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm.