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POLICE

Escaped mentally ill prisoner remains at large in Cologne area

Police are searching for a mentally ill prisoner convicted of killing his neighbour after he escaped from a secure psychiatric hospital in Cologne, western Germany.

Escaped mentally ill prisoner remains at large in Cologne area
Photo: DPA

Otto Krüger, 67, was granted permission to temporarily leave his ward at 1:45pm on Sunday but he failed to return to the facility at the agreed time.

Now police are warning the public not to approach the man, who is dependent on medication and can be “very aggressive”.

It is thought he could be in or around the cities of Cologne and Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia.

In 1998 the man kicked his 78-year-old neighbour to death in Bad Godesberg, south of Bonn. The following year he was placed in a closed psychiatric ward by a Bonn court.

The man had previously gone missing in December 2014 during an accompanied visit to a Christmas market. RP Online reported that he was on the run for two weeks but was caught after witnesses spotted him in a bistro.

Police have asked anyone with information on Krüger's whereabouts to contact them.

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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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