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Saturday, May 21, 2005
One Man's Treasure, a Fireman's Trash | Current Affairs | Deutsche Welle |: "
German firemen destroyed a young driver's first car after they mistook it for scrap and used it to practice rescue techniques.

It might not have been much, but for a 21-year-old driver from Hennef, near Bonn, his first car was his pride and joy. But now, the car his father bought for 900 euros ($1,130) only a few days ago, is lying in pieces in the local fire station parking lot.

Overzealous fire fighters spotted the car parked alongside a row of scrap-yard vehicles rounded up to help them practice rescuing accident victims and promptly set to work with a pair of hydraulic scissors and axes.

But the car had only been parked -- not dumped -- next to the junkyard. Its driver hadn't yet registered the vehicle, so it didn't have license plates.

Fire department chief Heinz Peter Krämer said the situation was regrettable, but defended his colleagues.

'They're not really to blame, as the car was already 10 years old and didn't look any different from our practice cars,' Krämer said."
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