No, loads of people haven’t just been injured in a tear gas attack at Frankfurt Airport

When German tabloids started excitedly reporting about a tear gas attack in Frankfurt Airport on Monday morning, the story soon got picked up by international media outlets.

No, loads of people haven't just been injured in a tear gas attack at Frankfurt Airport
Photo: DPA

Shortly before midday on Monday Bild published a short article with the headline “several injured after tear gas attack!”

In the article Bild explained that the attack had taken place at Frankfurt Airport and referred to a tweet from a Max Schneider as their sole form of evidence for the alleged attack. But a strange evidence loop emerged as Max Schneider's tweet referred to Bild as his source of information.

The news soon filtered through German online media and Twitter before being put up by international media outlets including the Daily Mail and China Xinhua News.

The reality of the incident is somewhat less dramatic. The fire services were called in after some passengers complained about breathing problems. But after they could not detect any form of gas in the air they gave the all clear.

Check-in counters which were temporarily closed were reopened by 12.30pm.

Federal police say that six people are being treated for “light injuries” relating to their airways. The source of the passengers’ breathing problems remains unclear.


Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees

The editor-in-chief of German newspaper Bild is stepping down temporarily while he is investigated over several complaints made by women, publisher Axel Springer group said on Saturday.

Bild editor steps down over allegations of affairs with employees
Bild editor Julian Reichelt at the Bild newspaper's 'Sommerfest' party in 2018. Photo: picture alliance / Jörg Carstensen/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

Julian Reichelt had “asked the board of directors to be temporarily relieved of his duties until the allegations have been clarified”, the group said in a statement. The complaints prompted the company to launch an internal investigation led by lawyers.

Reichelt is suspected of having promoted interns with whom he had affairs and then sidelining or firing them, the Spiegel newspaper reported. Members of staff came forward months ago but Spiegel said management had been slow to look into the allegations.

However, the publisher defended itself in its statement: “As a matter of  principle Axel Springer always has to distinguish between rumors, indications and clear evidence.”

It said the firm would take action when there was clear evidence, adding: “Currently, there is no such clear evidence. Prejudgments based on rumors are unacceptable for the Axel Springer corporate culture.”

Reichelt denies the claims, the group said, adding that the investigation was ongoing.