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‘It was unspeakably beautiful’: Dortmund tribute to dead fan

German FA interim president Reinhard Rauball admits being touched by the compassion shown by football fans in Dortmund after a fan died during a Bundesliga match on Sunday.

'It was unspeakably beautiful': Dortmund tribute to dead fan
Photo: DPA

Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 home win over Mainz at their Signal Iduna Park stadium was overshadowed after a 79-year-old collapsed with a suspected heart attack in the south stand and died, despite efforts to revive him, during the first-half.

In a separate emergency, a 55-year-old also collapsed, but was revived on the way to hospital.

The game was played afterwards in near silence as fans in the sold-out 81,000 crowd showed their respect.

“In the name of Borussia Dortmund, I particularly want to thank all the spectators for the sensitivity they showed,” wrote Dortmund's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke on the club's home page.

After the final whistle, the Dortmund team gathered in front of the club's iconic south stand as the home fans sang an emotional rendition of the club's anthem “You'll Never Walk Alone” in a spontaneous gesture of respect.

“The news circulated quickly via WhatsApp and social media and the news reached the whole stadium, including those from Mainz,” said Rauball, who is also Dortmund's club president.

“I have never experienced something like that before, where the fans have show such dignity, their humanity and marked their grief. It was unspeakably beautiful.

“I'm happy to criticise the fans when they cross the line, but on this occasion they deserve a compliment in the highest terms.

“The honour they showed, with such a feeling for what is appropriate, could not have been expressed better.”

Rauball says the eery atmosphere in the stadium reminded him of what it was like in the Stade de France after the Paris terror attacks of last November 13 following Germany's international friendly.

“Moments like that bring those memories back up,” he said.

Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, who spent the night in the Stade de France stadium with the rest of the Germany squad last November, also made the comparison.

“There were parallels with Paris. Everything was quiet, but also troubled,” said Hummels.

“We knew something had happened, but didn't know what. It was quite strange.

“It was a very good reaction from the public for the fans to start singing this song.”

Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin added: “I had goosebumps. I've never experienced anything like that before.”

Coach Thomas Tuchel said his squads' thoughts after the game were with the man's family.

“We see it everyday: there are far more important things (in life) than a football match.”

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DEATH

German experts see Russian link in deadly hospital cyber attack

German authorities probing a cyber attack on a hospital's IT system that led to a fatal delay in treatment for a critically ill woman believe the software used can be traced back to Russian hackers.

German experts see Russian link in deadly hospital cyber attack
Archive photo shows Düsseldorf University Hospital. Photo: DPA

In an update to lawmakers published on Tuesday, prosecutors wrote that hackers used malware known as “Doppelpaymer” to disable computers at Düsseldorf University Hospital on September 10th, aiming to encrypt data and then demand payment to unlock it again.

The same ransomware has been used in cyber attacks around the world carried out “by a group of hackers that, according to private security firms, is based in Russia”, the report said.

The attack saw the hospital's computer system become disconnected from the ambulance network.

A severely ill woman was therefore admitted to a hospital further away in Wuppertal and died shortly afterwards.

READ ALSO: Manslaughter probe as patient dies after Düsseldorf hospital hacking attack

The longer distance that the ambulance had to travel led to an hour's delay before medical staff were able to treat her.

Cologne prosecutors last week opened an investigation into involuntary manslaughter against unknown suspects over the woman's death.

If charges are brought, it would be a rare case of a hacking with deadly consequences.

Investigators suspect that the hackers had not meant to hit the hospital, with the actual target thought to have been the affiliated Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf.

Local police were able to contact the hackers during the attack to tell them patients' lives were at risk, prompting the hackers to hand over a decryption key before breaking off communication.

Germany has seen several hacker attacks on research and higher education institutions in recent months, including the University of Giessen, the University of Cologne and the Ruhr University Bochum.

The German government has in recent years blamed Russia for several high-profile attempts by hackers to spy on lawmakers or leading politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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