Bomb find in Cologne: Students delayed evacuation in Raderberg


It took nine hours last Wednesday from the discovery of a dud from the Second World War in Raderberg to the defusing deep in the night. All residents were only able to return to their homes around 1 a.m. It could have been 11:30 p.m. or even earlier, according to the regulatory office, everything would have gone at least an hour and a half faster if four residents of a student residence had not refused to leave their apartments for a long time.

In the end, several officers from the police and city security service talked into the two young men and the two women until they finally gave in. Otherwise the police would have thrown them outside by force – this has also happened in the past when defusing bombs.

Cologne: Unruly residents cause frustration with the security service

“These are things that frustrate me incredibly,” says Thomas Frenzke, head of the Cologne security service, “because none of that has to be the case. Such behavior harms the residents who want to get back to their homes as quickly as possible, it harms the general public, and of course it also harms my employees start the end of the working day when, at around 3.45 p.m., an announcement in the office building braked: “Please everyone stay here, nobody is going home.” The bomb had just been found during construction work in the Marktstrasse area. Anyone who could not assert any urgent private reasons added another layer to it.

2700 people had to be evacuated, almost all of them left their homes quickly and willingly – except for the four men and women. They initially did not open when the security forces rang the bell. The dormitory had been cleared, the inspectors were about to leave when, at the last moment, they noticed movement behind the windows of four apartments. They rang the doorbell again, but nobody answered. Eventually, firefighters forced the door open and the four people were taken to their homes.

Because there is a potential danger to the general public after a bomb has been found, the law does not allow an individual to decide whether he or she can be evacuated or remain at their own risk – everyone has to get out. “But we are finding that there are more and more people who refuse,” says Frenzke. Then tact is required, good persuasion, if necessary an “energetic speech” or, as a last resort, coercion.

The longer the evacuation lasts, the greater the damage

Any delay in an evacuation, says Frenzke, is not only “annoying and annoying” for the affected neighborhood or the people who are stuck in traffic due to the road closures, it also usually results in tangible economic damage. “Any company that has to remain closed longer than necessary in such a situation also makes greater financial losses.” Emergency services from the police, fire brigade, security service or the KVB may have to work overtime, for which the taxpayer pays in the end.

The four people from Raderberg now have to expect a fine of up to 1000 euros for an administrative offence. What drove her is unclear. Did you find that funny? Were you too lazy to get off the couch? Did they just want to provoke? “I don’t know,” says Thomas Frenzke, “we couldn’t see a specific reason.”


Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de.

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