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Wed Oct 22 14:21:23 SAST 2014

'Mentally disturbed' man sends Mayday from Merkel's plane

Sapa-dpa | 27 July, 2013 09:55
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel
Image by: CHRISTIAN HARTMANN / REUTERS

A man described as "mentally disturbed" broke into one of the planes used by Chancellor Angela Merkel and her ministers and sent a Mayday signal from the cockpit, a prosecutor in Cologne said.

Police were investigating how the 24-year-old German, who was later taken into custody, managed to enter a secure area of Cologne-Bonn Airport, where the Airbus A319 jet operated by the air force was parked Thursday evening.

The Koelnische Rundschau reported that he locked himself in the cockpit and triggered an emergency radio signal. Police had to force open the door.

The air force operates 14 planes for use by the cabinet and other top German officials.

Ulrich Bremer, a spokesman for the prosecution, said the man would not have been able to move the plane because its power was off. There were indications the man was disturbed and he was remanded to a psychiatric clinic.

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