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CRIME

Ten postal workers injured by blue chemical powder

Ten Augsburg postal workers were injured on the job by a mysterious blue powder on Tuesday evening. Bavarian police evacuated the building and then found a similar powder on a nearby street.

Ten postal workers injured by blue chemical powder
Photo: DPA

Workers at the post office centre noticed the blue powder falling out of a letter on a conveyor belt around 7 pm. They apparently thought nothing of it and promptly vacuumed up the mess. But shortly thereafter 10 workers complained of skin and eye irritation and were transported to a nearby hospital.

Eighty other workers were treated in the postal centre’s cafeteria and the building was eacuated, police said.

Then just before 10 pm a similar powder was found on a nearby street, which police closed off for investigation.

Initial tests showed that the substance was “not a chlorine compound but likely a fertiliser,” a police spokesperson said.

Police believe that someone emptied the substance into a Neusäß letter box – between the street where the powder was found and the post office – around 4 pm before it was emptied. Its contents were then taken to the post office.

Police are searching for witnesses who noticed someone inserting the substance into the Deutsche Post letter box on Tuesday afternoon.

The prank may have been a nasty April Fool’s joke, police said.

Work resumed at the post office around 11:15 pm.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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