Hand brake not activated Car rolls into the Rhine

Bornheim/Widdig · An unusual incident happened at the Nato ramp in Widdig. A car rolled into the Rhine. It was later recovered from the water with a crane on a barge.

It’s not every day that the Bornheim fire department gets such a call. On Monday evening at around 8 pm, they were alerted with the information that a car had rolled into the Rhine River. It belonged to a 59-year-old man from Brühl, who had apparently stopped his car at around 5 pm at the Nato ramp at the river’s shore in Widdig.

Fire Department spokesperson Thomas Kaltheier said they assumed the man stopped and got out of his car to enjoy the view over the Rhine in the spring sunshine. He apparently had forgotten to activate the hand brake. The car rolled down the steep ramp and landed right in the river. He ran to try to catch up to it but was not able to stop it from rolling in the Rhine. Passers by alarmed the Fire Department by calling 112. Several minutes later, around 70 helpers were on the scene, from area fire departments and water rescue. A helicopter also flew over the scene as they tried to determine the location of the car.

With six boats, officials searched the river close to the shore. At around 6 pm, they were successful. About 50 meters upstream, where the “Anja” boat was anchored, they found the sunken car with boat hooks. It was secured with a steel rope and pulled out of the river with a crane set up on a barge. During the recovery efforts, the Rhine was closed off to water traffic for one and a half hours.

Orig. text: hpf

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