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Ski champ's brother killed in fireworks accident

The Local · 3 Jan 2011, 08:58

Published: 03 Jan 2011 08:58 GMT+01:00

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Josef “Sepp” Gerg, a 33-year-old farmer in the Gaißach region of Bavaria, blew himself up in front of his fiancee Anne S. and seven friends, daily Bild reported.

Gerg, a trained fireworks operator, had made his own device consisting of five tubes, each filled with explosive powder, welded to a metal plate.

Around midnight, he set the device to detonate on the footpath. The friends all retreated to a safe distance of about 15 metres.

The first two tubes exploded but the third failed to ignite. When Gerg approached the firework and bent over the third tube to investigate, it suddenly ignited. He suffered serious facial injuries and died at the scene.

Gerg was the brother of former slalom skiing champion Annemarie Gerg and also the cousin of Hilde Gerg, who won a gold medal in the women’s slalom at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

Annemarie Gerg took 2nd place in Slalom in Val d'Isere World Championships in December 2006 and competed in the Turin Winter Olympics in 2006, but retired the following year with a knee injury.

Story continues below…

The mayor of the municipality of Lenggries, Werner Weindl, said: “The family has been hard hit. The whole area is shocked.”

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:51 January 3, 2011 by pepsionice
After twenty years of spending New Years in Germany....I can attest to the fact that a quarter of the folks messing with fireworks have had a fair amount of alcohol before midnight. Most hospitals keep a full crew on for the emergency room....because of the significant number of folks who show up between midnight and 2AM.

In this case....because of the way it was described by the news source....I'm thinking he had some alcohol and probably did something that was not prescribed for the situation.
12:46 January 3, 2011 by Gretl
"Gerg, a trained fireworks operator"

Obviously not. Even military folks know not to mess with explosives that haven't exploded in a timely manner. You just leave them alone.
07:43 January 4, 2011 by tallady
Absolutely ,,common sense would tell you not to stick your face over unexploded ordnance ,that has been detonated. He must have learned that the first day of "fireworks school".
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