A Greenpeace protester who parachuted into the stadium ahead of Germany’s Euro 2020 match against France in Munich was lucky not to have been shot down by anti-terror shooters enforcing a no-fly zone, a minister of state said.
Two people were injured when the activist lost control of his motorized paraglider, which had a motor attached to his back, and was struck by the aerial camera cables attached to the roof of the stadium. Fans ducked as he ran into the spectator area, narrowly missing the stands and demolishing technical equipment before crashing in front of the German penalty area.
The rubble fell on the field and the main grandstand, only missing the French coach, Didier Deschamps. Two German players were the first to approach the protester, before the security services took him away.
“Because of the Greenpeace banner, the shooters did not intervene,” said Joachim Herrmann, Bavaria’s interior minister for the state. “But if the police had come to a different conclusion that they might have been dealing with a terrorist attack, the aviator may well have paid with his life.”
Bavaria’s leader Markus Söder said the incident would be properly investigated. “This was not a trivial offense,” Söder told Bavarian radio. “It will be covered very thoroughly. This was a clear violation. “
Munich police said Wednesday they were investigating several possible violations of the criminal code and aviation law. “The pilot injured two men during the approach to the landing. The injured received medical attention from the emergency services and were transferred to hospitals for additional care, ”police said in a statement.
Police said none of the injuries were serious and that the pilot, a 38-year-old man living in the southwestern state of Baden Württemberg, was unharmed. “There is no understanding for such irresponsible actions that accept a considerable risk to human life,” police said.
Munich’s Deputy Mayor Katrin Habenschaden, who was in the stadium and witnessed the first incident, said: “I was sitting near the press box. The paraglider whizzed past me about 30 meters away, ”he told the tabloid Bild.
A member of the Green Party, however, condemned Greenpeace’s actions. “It was life-threatening and it was sheer luck that nothing else happened. Greenpeace has done great damage to its reputation ”.
Greenpeace apologized for the stunt, which they admitted went wrong. He said the protest action was aimed at urging Euro 2020 sponsor automaker Volkswagen to stop selling diesel and gasoline cars.
“This protest was never intended to disrupt play or hurt people,” the group said. in a Twitter post. “We hope that everyone is well and that no one has been seriously injured. Greenpeace actions are always peaceful and non-violent. Unfortunately, with this trick, not everything went according to plan. “
In a second statement on Wednesday, Greenpeace said it was unreservedly apologetic to the two injured people. “The pilot had wanted to let a balloon float in the stadium, but then he had to make an emergency landing, because the manual control of the parachute gas failed.”
The man at the controls of the parachute is reported to be a veteran double activist, identified only as Kai S, known to police after he parachuted onto the roof of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt in March to spotlight “central banks. “. role in projects that are harmful to the environment ”.
UEFA defended its environmental credentials in a statement on Tuesday, saying it was “fully committed to a sustainable Euro 2020 tournament.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism