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POLICE

Rats and rubbish: police clear out house of horrors in Berlin

In the Berlin district of Wedding on Monday morning, police evacuated a dilapidated house where about 42 people had reportedly been living.

Rats and rubbish: police clear out house of horrors in Berlin
Police evacuating the house on Monday. Photo: DPA

The evacuation was absolutely necessary as “a measure to avert danger” and in particular to protect the health of the residents, said Ephraim Gothe, member of the district council for urban development, social issues and health.

The house, located at the corner of Kameruner Str. and Lüderitz Str., has been declared uninhabitable by the owner.

About an hour after the eviction order was issued, about 42 people – many of them adults – were reportedly found in the house. They were asked to leave the building and are not allowed to make use of the house any longer.

Police who helped vacate the building wore white protective suits for hygienic reasons.

Among other things, the house had no running water at the time it was cleared out. Rubbish was also piled up in the yard, some of the house's windows were missing and there was a possible rat infestation.

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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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