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POLICE

Kidnappers return ‘Screw King’ billionaire’s son

Police recovered the son of billionaire Reinhold Würth unharmed on Thursday after he was kidnapped the day before, launching a manhunt for those behind the crime.

Kidnappers return 'Screw King' billionaire's son
Photo: DPA

50 year-old Markus Würth has been reunited with his family after being kidnapped and held overnight on Wednesday.

Police had asked media to observe a blackout after they found out about the kidnapping.

Markus was taken from a home for people with mental disorders in Schlitz, northeast of Frankfurt. Bild reported that the kidnappers demanded a sum over €2m for his return.

His father is a well known businessman, who took over his father’s wholesale screw business when he was 19.

The Würth company is worth billions, with annual profits of around €10bn.

The Würth family called police to report Markus missing when he didn’t show up for lunch.

Police then began an intensive search involving 40 police officers, 50 firefighters and sniffer dogs.

Bild reported that the perpetrators tied him to a tree before revealing his location in GPS coordinates and disappearing on Thursday. Police believe the kidnappers may have lost their nerve, as the family had not paid them any money as a ransom.

Markus was found nearly 100km from where he was snatched. Once he was safe, the media blackout was lifted to aid in the manhunt for the perpetrators.

Police have appealed for witnesses and are searching for the van used during the kidnapping.

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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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