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GA English on Sunday: News in Brief from Bonn and the Region

GA English on Sunday : News in Brief from Bonn and the Region

Live concerts in Bonn's Kulturgarten had a successful start with a Brings Concert, moving city administration offices into the Kaiserpassage could revitalise Bonn's city centre, a 25-year-old man was found dead in forest in the Wahnbach valley in Neunkirchen-Seelscheid on Saturday morning, and a 17-year-old pilot was seriously injured in a glider crash at Hangelar airfield – here is our news in brief on Sunday.

Live concerts in Bonn's Kulturgarten had a successful start with a Brings concert

Live concerts are finally happening again. The kick-off of the Kulturgarten in Bonn's Rheinaue last Friday was a complete success with the Brings concert, which brought together an intense sense of community and a band in a festive mood. According to the organisers, about 1,300 people came to kick-off the 2020 open-air season, despite the continuing threat of coronavirus.

Despite having to keep distancing rules, having to wear a face covering when not seated and other limitations, people had a lot of fun, which was made possible thanks to an audience that stuck to the rules and to the musicians who were ready to rock after months of abstinence.

Singer Peter Brings was overcome in front of a beaming crowd sitting in deck chairs, on benches, picnic blankets and recliners in glorious summer weather and cheerfully singing along with the choruses.

"We missed this so much," he confessed. "It’s so good to be able to look you in the eye again" – a statement the audience could respond to unreservedly. However, due to hygiene and distancing rules, standing up and dancing were explicitly forbidden. It was the most difficult rule to follow, although wearing a face covering was easier, and the one-way street system between the individual rows also generally worked well.

(Original text; Thomas Kölsch)

Moving city administration offices into the Kaiserpassage could revitalise Bonn's city centre

The Kaiserpassage has glass-covered corridors that are flooded with light, everything is clean and elegant and impressive chandeliers hang from the ceiling. Business people should be fighting to move into the shops, but instead, the passageway has long been empty. Currently, only a few shops are attracting customers to the passage, including a children's shoe shop and a shoe and accessories store, an exclusive fashion boutique and DM chemist: however, in a few weeks’ time, Café Extrablatt plans to open. A large part of the building, especially on the upper floors, is rented out to doctors' surgeries.

The Kaiserpassage was built in 1978 by the Bonn investor Bernd Domscheit, between Martinsplatz, Wesselstrasse and Kaiserplatz, and is now owned by the Zurich Insurance Group. In 2000, the Kaiserpassage was extended at a cost of about eight million euros. At that time, parts of the old city wall were revealed, which can still be viewed inside the passage behind glass. The Kaiserpassage has a total of 15,000 square meters of retail and office space.

Karina Kröber, board member of the City-Marketing Association believes the Bonn city administration, who is always looking for space, could move some departments into the Kaiserpassage and attract more people. City spokeswoman Monika Hörig said that "the desire to revitalise the Kaiserpassage is understandable from the point of view of the retail trade. The administration is constantly examining how the individual departments can be optimally accommodated.” Commenting on Kröber's proposal, the Zurich press office said: "Zurich is basically open to discussions with new tenants".

(Orignal text; Lisa Inhoffen)

Body of a 25-year-old found in the Wahnbach valley in Neunkirchen-Seelscheid on Saturday

After a two-hour search operation in the wooded areas along the Wahnbach valley in Neunkirchen-Seelscheid, the police found the body of a 25-year-old man, just off a forest path at about 0.30 am on Saturday morning. The man had been reported missing by his father. The circumstances of his death are still unclear. The man had suffered external injuries, about which no further details have been given, due to the ongoing investigation.

Numerous police officers, rescue dog teams and the father of the 25-year-old man together with several hunting colleagues, had participated in the search. After the discovery, the 189 road had to be closed completely so that the forest area in question near the village of Oberwennerscheid on a slope above the roadway could be flood-lit by the local fire brigade. Investigations at the site by the Criminal Investigation Department, a forensic doctor and the forensic team continued into the early hours of the morning.

After the dead body had been found, calls for help from nearby woods were heard, but could not be located acoustically. In addition, almost ten shots were heard, for which there was no explanation. A police helicopter with a thermal imaging camera was used to clarify the situation. Despite hours of searching over the woods east of Seelscheid, it was not possible during the night to gain any insight into the background of the events.

(Orignal text; Christof Schmoll)

A 17-year-old pilot was seriously injured in a glider crash at Hangelar airfield

A 17-year-old female pilot was seriously injured in a crash at Hangelar airfield on Saturday afternoon shortly after 3 pm. Apparently, a tow-rope severed as the glider took off, as two eyewitnesses confirmed. According to the witnesses, the glider had just been pulled into the air by a winch when the rope broke. The plane then tilted to the left and went into a spin and finally crashed from a height of several hundred meters.

The young pilot was trapped in the glider by the crash and had to be rescued by the rescue services. When the glider accident happened, an air rescue helicopter with an emergency doctor from Berlin and an ambulance with paramedics from Sankt Augustin were coincidentally at the airfield, transferring a patient from Berlin to the rescue service for further transport to a clinic. When the teams saw the crash, they rushed to the scene of the accident and provided first aid and called for further assistance.

About 60 firefighters from the units in Hangelar, Mülldorf, Niederpleis and Menden, an emergency doctor from Siegburg and police officers then moved to the somewhat remote area of the airfield. The firefighters cut off the joystick of the plane using a hydraulic cutter to free the young woman. The seriously injured pilot was first treated in an ambulance and was then flown with another rescue helicopter to a clinic for further treatment.

Air traffic control experts have taken over the investigation. Using a drone, the fire department took pictures of the crash site. After the crash, flight operations were stopped and only resumed after the experts had finished recording the accident. The 17-year-old pilot was not a flight student, but already had her flying license.

(Original text; Michael Wrobel and Peter Kölschbach)

(Translations, John Chandler)