Sat, Jul 23, 2005
Authorities Suspect Suicide
A general aviation pilot whose ultra-light aircraft went down
close to the seat of power in Berlin, Germany, Friday may have
committed suicide, authorities said.
The aircraft went down on a lawn between the Reichstag and
Chancellor Gerhardt Schroeder's office. Officials told Reuters they
had ruled out terrorism as a factor in the incident.
"Before taking off, the pilot supposedly spoke of his intention
to kill himself," Berlin's deputy police chief, Gerd Neubeck, told
reporters at a news conference. "Everything points to a
The 39-year old pilot had been
questioned by police earlier this week about the disappearance of
his wife, missing since Monday. Before departing the airfield at
Brandenburg, the unnamed pilot reportedly handed over the keys to
his car, along with some personal documents, to his 14-year old son
and left -- saying he was going to kill himself.
The search for the man's wife continues.
In the meantime, some conservative politicians in Germany used
the incident as a launch pad for calls to ban general aviation
flight over the capital.
"It is very worrying that a plane can get so close to the center
of power," said politician Wolfgang Bosbach, who could end up as
the country's interior minister if Schroeder's party is ousted from
power in the upcoming elections.
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