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CRIME

Chlorine leak injures 15 kids at swim meet

A group of 15 children had to be rushed to the hospital after being overcome by chlorine fumes at an indoor public pool in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, police reported late on Sunday night.

Chlorine leak injures 15 kids at swim meet
Photo: DPA

The children were evacuated during a regional swimming event in the indoor swimming pool in the city’s Drispenstedt district after experiencing a variety of reactions to high levels of chlorine in the water, the pediatric clinic in Hildesheim announced.

The young patients required urgent treatment for breathing difficulties and eye irritation. Authorities measured high levels of airborne chlorine gas in the swimming hall, but have not yet discovered the source of the leak. A special police unit closed the pool to investigate.

This isn’t the first case of chlorine poisoning in a public pool in Germany. In late October, 25 people were hospitalized after a failure in the measuring unit at a swimming hall in Bitburg.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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