Berlin Police Helicopters Collide Close to Olympic Stadium

Two German police helicopters collided by Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, killing a pilot and causing multiple serious injuries to officers on board.

The federal police helicopters were taking part in a crowd-control exercise above the Maifeld area that abuts the stadium when they collided at low altitude this morning, Ivo Priebe, a police spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

Television footage showed police scrambling over a damaged helicopter lying on its side in the snow with the stadium complex in the background. Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich attended the scene.

“We are mourning a dead police officer, a pilot,” Friedrich told reporters in video aired on N-TV television. “Investigations will proceed” into the cause of the accident, he said. Five people were hospitalized with injuries, Berlin Fire Department spokesman Stephan Fleischer told N-TV.

The police declined to comment on whether the blizzard conditions at the time had contributed to the crash.

The Olympic Stadium, a complex of buildings including a track-and-field arena and swimming pool, was constructed on the orders of Adolf Hitler to host the 1936 games. The main stadium, which is now home to Hertha BSC soccer club, hosted the final of the soccer World Cup in 2006.

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