• Germany edition
 
Mine protester pulled out of tunnel after four days
Photo: DPA

Mine protester pulled out of tunnel after four days

Published: 17 Nov 2012 11:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2012 11:12 GMT+01:00

Police have pulled an environmental protester out of a six-metre deep tunnel after four days trying to dig him out without prompting a collapse which would have buried him alive.

The man was the last protester still in place at the Hambach forest near Kerpen, North Rhine-Westphalia after a tree-house camp was cleared last week to enable the forest to be felled and the area strip-mined for brown coal.

The man, said to be a 27-year-old called Jonas from southern Germany, had refused to come out of the tunnel, but was pulled out shortly before midnight on Friday, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper reported on Saturday.

He was taken to hospital for checks, but did not seem to be injured, the paper said.

Protesters had kept a vigil nearby, while locals had brought them hot drinks and food. Police and fire brigade specialists had tried to reach the man through the tunnel, but it was too narrow to bring him out and they were concerned that it might collapse.

They then started to dig their own access tunnel to reach him – while trying to talk him into coming out voluntarily. At one point they got close, but he kicked away a number of wooden props and fled further into the tunnel.

On Friday night the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger said a rescue team that had gone down the access tunnel and widened the tunnel leading to his hide-out, grabbed him and brought him out.

“I am a little baffled by the great interest shown in the fact that the police are risking my life to clear this area,” the man had said while still in the tunnel, the paper reported.

“At the same time no-one seems to be interested that the resources of millions are being destroyed: hundreds die each day of hunger, thirst and exile as a direct consequence of man-made climate change.”

The paper said the Hambach Forest had once been the largest of the region, covering more than 5,000 hectares, with a history dating back 12,000 years. It was full of oak and hornbeam trees.

Much of the forest is gone, felled to make way for open cast, or strip-mining. This is the method where rather than coal being dug out of tunnels, the land is simply dug up and the brown coal taken from it.

Protesters have been occupying the area since April in a bid to stop, delay or at least draw attention to the strip-mining operation due to be carried out there by energy company RWE.

The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:56 November 17, 2012 by vonSchwerin
Regardless of the correctness of his view or not, who is going to pay for this giant police operation? Herr Jonas . . . or German taxpayers? I think we all the answer.
10:27 November 18, 2012 by Landmine
What a moron that guy n the tunnel. As if it made any difference....
Today's headlines
Berlin's best street art - in pictures
Photo: J. Arthur White

Berlin's best street art - in pictures

The German capital boasts works by some of the world's most prominent street artists. The Local took a walk through the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg to bring you some of the highlights. READ () »

State checks more bank accounts than ever
Photo: DPA

State checks more bank accounts than ever

German authorities are inspecting bank accounts more often than ever, figures from the finance ministry showed on Friday. READ () »

Dortmund's Klopp rules out Man United job again
Jürgen Klopp. Photo: DPA

Dortmund's Klopp rules out Man United job again

Borussia Dortmund's charismatic coach Jürgen Klopp has reiterated he would not be joining Manchester United despite British media reports linking him to the vacant manager's job following David Moyes' dismissal. READ () »

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month
Foreign Minister Steinmeier reboards his plane after the delay. Photo: DPA

Minister's jet grounded twice in a month

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier had to wait for two hours on a runway on Wednesday night due to a technical glitch on his plane - the second problem the jet has had in a month. READ () »

German of the Week
'It's important people are confronted with cancer'
Photo: Marina Proksch-Park

'It's important people are confronted with cancer'

Images of children with cancer often evoke weakness and defeat. But Marina Proksch-Park shows them enjoying life. The photographer who has sparked an online campaign with her pictures is The Local's German of the Week. READ () »

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo
Yasar Calik. Photo: Facebook/Yasar Calik

CDU candidate forced to remove Turkish logo

A Christian Democrat (CDU) town council candidate has apologized and withdrawn campaign bags on which he had printed a new party logo where the Turkish crescent appeared inside the "C" for Christian. READ () »

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand
Lufthansa's daughter company Germanwings is one of the faster-growing budget airlines in Germany. Photo: DPA

Cheap flights get pricier as airlines expand

Budget airlines are expanding their range of routes from Germany but ticket prices are climbing along with them, a report from the German Aeronautics Centre (DLR) revealed on Thursday. READ () »

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened
Bernie Ecclestone with his lawyers in a Munich court on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA

Ecclestone lawyers: Bribes never happened

UPDATE: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. READ () »

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'
Photo: DPA

Minister praises Erasmus 'success story'

A revamped version of European student exchange programme Erasmus officially launched in Berlin on Thursday with Germany's education minister praising the scheme as a Europe-wide “success story”. READ () »

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid
Photo: DPA

Turkey tourists lose call to prayer refund bid

A German couple has lost their legal fight to get a refund for a Turkish holiday which they said was ruined by the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque. It is just one of a series of court claims by picky German tourists. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
National
Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Photo: DPA
National
Girls find live ammunition in Easter bonfire
Photo: Facebook/screenshot
Berlin
Germany's most viral advert for an apartment?
Gallery
11 things you need to know about German beer
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,081
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd