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CRIME

Update: High-profile German family killed in Helicopter crash in Mallorca

A total of seven people including two children were killed in a mid-air collision between a helicopter and a light aircraft over Spain's Mallorca island on Sunday, authorities said.

Update: High-profile German family killed in Helicopter crash in Mallorca
Wreckage following the crash in the central town of Inca. Photo: DPA

Four of the victims were Germans, confirmed Germany's Foreign Office to DPA on Monday morning.

The two aircraft crashed over the central town of Inca at 1:35pm, the regional Balearic Islands government said on its Twitter account.

Everyone aboard the two aircraft – two on the plane and five on the helicopter – perished in the crash, a police spokesman said.

A couple and their two children were aboard the helicopter along with the pilot, the spokesman told AFP.

A family of entrepreneurs

The family was from Munich, and the children were 9 and 11 years old, according to German media reports.

Father August Inselkammer Jr., 43, comes from a prominent family of entrepreneuers, and was CEO of Isartaler Holzhaus, a pre-fabricated housing company.

His family members are known for running well-known Bavarian breweries and hotels. His uncle Franz runs, together with his wife Angela, the brewery Aying, and his cousin Peter is owner of the Hotel Platzl in Munich.

August Inselkammer Sr., together with his father of the same name, had managed the Isartaler Holzhaus in Holzkirchen until his death in April of this year.

The employees of Isartaler Holzhaus met in the morning for a work meeting. “We are all shocked,” reported one staff member to the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Five years ago, the Inselkammer family had been badly affected by another accident: Jannik Inselkammer, the co-owner of the Munich Augustiner brewery, died while skiing in Canada. His father Hans and August Inselkammer Sr. were cousins.

Registered in Germany

The helicopter was registered in Germany, and German company Rotorflug Helicopters confirmed the fatal crash of one of its helicopters.

“The cause of the accident is still completely unclear”, the company, headquartered in Friedrichsdorf near Frankfurt, said in a statement. “The authorities have started investigations.”

According to its website, Rotorflug offers sightseeing flights over Mallorca on three routes from 15 to 30 minutes and  for €87 to €167.

Police said the two aircrafts crashed into a field but did not yet have any additional information.

Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands are popular destinations for German and other foreign tourists, especially in the summer season.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed condolences to the victims' families, and said in a tweet that he was “following the news from… Mallorca with concern.”

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GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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