Wed Jan 04, 2006 1:10 am
My sympathy to all our German friends that are affected by this terrible accident!
Thu Jan 05, 2006 6:11 pm
German politicians are mostly silent about one our most pressing problems. Former East Germany is a major liability costing the economy €100 billion annually. So in the wake of this current accident, people are voicing their opinions. That West Germany is a wreck these days. Roads, buildings are a need of maintenance, the infrastructure needs to be overhauled, but yet most of the money keeps on flowing to East Germany, where today there already is a state-of-the-art structure. But less and less people make use of it, because migration away from the East continues unabated, especially among young people. And it gets worse. Economic aid for the eastern part is increasingly dragging down the economic cycle in western Germany.
BAD REICHENHALL, Germany Jan 5, 2006 — Rescue workers early Thursday recovered the body of the last person known to be missing in the wreckage of a collapsed ice rink, raising the number killed to 15 most of them teens and children.
Fire official Rudi Zeif said the body, found in a mound of snow, was that of a 40-year-old woman unaccounted for since the rink's roof collapsed Monday during a public skating session.
Rescue teams with search dogs and heavy equipment worked into the night to remove debris from the surface of the ice rink in the effort to find the woman.
Officials said the search would go on, just in case anyone else still lay buried, but indicated that the focus would now switch to investigating the cause of the tragedy in Bad Reichenhall, an Alpine spa town near the Austrian border.
"That will be the theme for the coming weeks," Mayor Wolfgang Heitmeier said.
In all, 12 minors and three adults died.
The children still on Christmas vacation from school were among the 50 people inside the building when it collapsed. Eighteen people were hospitalized.
Rescuers had recovered the bodies of three children Wednesday; authorities said all three appeared to have been crushed by the roof, which gave way after heavy, wet snowfall.
Police identified one as a girl from Uzbekistan who had been living in the town. All the other victims were Germans from the mountainous area.
Prosecutors said an investigation into possible negligence was under way, amid angry questions from residents about how predictable snowfall could apparently cause a public building to collapse.
Workers marked large sections of wreckage with numbers and letters in red paint as they removed them, to assist the effort to reconstruct what had happened. Prosecutors said they were interviewing witnesses and seeking documents in what promised to be a monthslong probe.
"We are investigating in all directions," said Volker Ziegler, a spokesman for prosecutors. He added that it was unclear so far whether officials would try to reconstruct the broken roof at another site.
Fri Jan 06, 2006 1:13 pm
West Germany isn't a wreck! In Bad Reichenhall the roof was a problem since the arena was build but until this year they managed to get the snow off the roof before it could break. The roof crashed the day they wanted to clean it up, so I guess it was just bad luck. The construction itself was the problem, not some kind of rot. It was quite predictable, that something like that could happen.