Woman hospitalized after scalding legs in witch’s cauldron at carnival parade

UPDATE: A young woman in southwest Germany has sustained serious injuries after her legs got into a witch’s cauldron full of hot water during carnival festivities on Saturday.

Woman hospitalized after scalding legs in witch’s cauldron at carnival parade
File photo: DPA

The police reported on Monday that they have begun investigations into *negligent bodily harm and possible neglected assistance at the carnival parade in Eppingen, Baden Württemberg. They are currently searching for two people disguised in witch costumes.

A spokesperson for the Heilbronn police close to Eppingen told Südwestrundfunk (SWR) radio that a group of spectators had carried the 18-year-old to the cauldron, presumably in jest.

Then one person dressed as a witch lifted the young woman up and another opened the cauldron and she was held over the hot water, the spokesperson added.

But for reasons yet unknown, the 18-year-old found herself knee-deep in the hot water and those in the vicinity simply went on without taking care of her, the police report.

She was afterward taken to a specialist hospital due to serious injuries.

The cauldron had been placed above an open fire which was on a car and being pulled by several people.

At present it is being clarified whether an open fire like the one that was set up was permitted at all during the carnival procession.

The association “Hexenzunft Eppingen,” writes on its website that the parade – which attracts hundreds of participants, many of whom dress up as witches – has been taking place since 2003.

Numerous users criticized the association at the weekend for posting pictures of the event on Facebook, but failing to address the incident involving the young woman.

“Something like this should not happen,” mayor of Eppingen Klaus Holaschke (independant) told local newspaper Heilbronn Voice. The incident is to be processed at the town’s city hall on Monday.

*This article has since been corrected. Previously, The Local had reported that the young woman had been thrown into the cauldron, that police were investigating into serious bodily harm and that they had been searching for six people with regards to the incident. 

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world.