SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Cologne considered evacuation near metro

Nearly a year after a dramatic cave-in underneath Cologne’s historical archive left two people dead, the city’s authorities considered evacuating large parts of the centre along a new metro line.

Cologne considered evacuation near metro
The archive accident site in Cologne. Photo: DPA

News magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday that Cologne officials prepared evacuation plans for the Waidmarkt area last month due to safety concerns connected to the construction of a tunnel for the U-Bahn. Only after further testing did they decided against emptying a large swath of the city.

Investigators into the March 3, 2009 collapse of the archive building now believe builders might have cut corners on the supporting walls of the metro tunnel not only near the construction site near Waidmarkt, but also near the Rathaus and Heumarkt stations.

A construction worker on the metro line admitted earlier this week that his foreman intentionally used fewer steel reinforcements at the site of the accident. The unused metal allegedly went to scrap dealers, the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger reported.

The archive’s collapse killed two men in a neighbouring building and destroyed large amounts of precious historic documents.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS