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Police probe threat to ‘hammer 7,000 nails’ into Bonn’s cherry blossom trees

Every spring in Bonn the city’s cherry blossom trees in the old town attract tourists and Instagrammers alike. But after posters criticizing the frenzy over the blooms appeared at the weekend, police have been investigating.

Police probe threat to 'hammer 7,000 nails' into Bonn's cherry blossom trees
A tourist in Bonn's old town. Photo: DPA

An unknown person or group of people threatened to hammer 7,000 copper nails into the trees if the “photo mania” did not stop, police reported on Tuesday.

Several posters bearing the threatening message showed up in the same neighbourhood as the cherry blossom trees on Sunday, according to the police.

Copper nails are considered a means for damaging trees, though whether they can actually harm them is disputable.

Rather than a hard threat, “we are examining whether coercion might be appropriate here,” said a police spokesman in Bonn.

There have not yet been any indications of who created or distributed the posters.

Thousands of people across the globe flock to see Bonn’s cherry blossoms bloom around this time of year, according to the city's website.

During a two-week period, it's not uncommon to see tourists armed with selfie sticks and mobile phones fill up in the old town's narrow streets.

 

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POLICE

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

A Frenchwoman and a Spaniard were killed and nine other mountaineers were injured on Friday in an ice fall in southwest Switzerland, police said following a rescue attempt involving several helicopters.

Two mountaineers killed and 9 injured in ice fall in Swiss mountains

Police received calls at 6.20 am reporting that mountaineers had been caught up in falling seracs — columns of glacial ice formed by crevasses — on the Grand Combin, a glacial massif near the Italian border in the Wallis region.

Seven helicopters with mountain rescue experts flew to the scene, finding 17 mountaineers split among several groups.

“Two people died at the scene of the accident,” Wallis police said in a statement. They were a 40-year-old Frenchwoman and a 65-year-old man from Spain.

Nine mountaineers were airlifted to hospitals in nearby Sion and in Lausanne. Two of them are seriously injured, police said.

Other mountaineers were evacuated by helicopter.

The regional public prosecutor has opened an investigation “to determine the circumstances of this event”, the police said.

The serac fall happened at an altitude of 3,400 metres in the Plateau de Dejeuner section along the Voie du Gardien ascent route.

The Grand Combin massif has three summits above 4,000 metres, the highest of which is the Combin de Grafeneire at 4,314 metres.

The police issued a note of caution about setting off on such high-altitude expeditions.

“When the zero-degree-Celsius isotherm is around 4,000 metres above sea level, it is better to be extra careful or not attempt the route if in doubt,” Wallis police said.

“The golden rule is to find out beforehand from the mountain guides about the chosen route and its current feasibility.”

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