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British tank crashes into family garden

An elderly couple in Paderborn got a shock on Tuesday morning when they opened the curtains to discover their fence and hedges crushed by a British army tank.

British tank crashes into family garden
Photo: Paderborn Police

Police reported that a technical issue caused a tank owned by the British Army to veer off its course, running amok until a fence belonging to Ulrich Tilsner stopped it.

Tilsner was about to leave to meet his granddaughter when he heard the sound of his fence being taken out. 

"My Opa (grandpa) telephoned and said 'I'm coming somewhat later, I have a tank in my garden'," Stefanie Ney told the Neue Westfälische newspaper

Ney then rushed to her grandparents to find quite a scene. 

"There was a tank in the hedge and soldiers standing everywhere and our dog was barking like crazy," she said. "My Oma (grandma) was completely in shock." 

Magdalene Tilsner likened the crash to a bomb going off. 

The tank occupants walked away from the incident unscathed and while the Tilsner's house was untouched, police said part of its wall would have to be replaced, as well as several plants, with damages estimated around €1,000.  

It took police and the British Army several hours to remove the faulty tank. 

A drive chain suffered the technical disturbance that caused the crash.

According to police, the tank is part of a military driving school belonging to the Paderborn Garrison of the British Army based not far from where the accident happened.

"People in Paderborn are not shocked when they see a tank," a police spokesperson told dpa.

 

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POLICE

German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.

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