Thu, Aug 16, 2012 - Page 7 News List

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Agencies

SINGAPORE

Garbage hoarder found dead

A 76-year-old man who lived alone was found dead in his flat, which was piled to the ceiling with garbage he had collected from bins over the past decade, a report said yesterday. An emergency services team took nearly an hour on Monday to dismantle the apartment’s heavily locked front door after neighbors complained of a stench and as long to find the remains after going through the junk, the Straits Times reported. Police confirmed yesterday that they found the body of a man in his 70s in a public housing flat and were investigating it as an “unnatural death.” A neighbor told the Straits Times that the man’s wife and daughter moved out about 10 years ago and his hoarding habit began at about the same time. He would rummage through dustbins in the area and stash items he found in plastic bags in his apartment. “When I asked him what was in the bags, he said he had treasures,” the neighbor said.

GERMANY

Man listed as dead, alive

For 31 years, Rene Seiptius had been counted among the thousands of people killed while trying to escape the confines of communist East Germany. As it turns out, he was alive all along. “I can’t explain how it could have happened,” Seiptius said on Monday. Seiptius first attempted to cross the deadly strip of land that once separated East Germany from the West in 1981, when he was 17. He and two friends managed to tiptoe past a row of minefields, but they triggered fire from an automatic spring gun. One of Seiptius’ crew died and their cover was blown. They were quickly arrested by border guards, but records kept by East Germany’s notorious secret police showed Seiptius as having died during the botched escape attempt. “I’ve been alive for the last 48 years,” he said. Eventually his name found its way onto a list of all the people who had died along Germany’s East-West border compiled by a museum in Berlin. The case was not made public until recently, when Seiptius’ ex-wife stumbled across an article on the Web site of German broadcaster NDR, which listed Seiptius as deceased. “It was pure coincidence,” Patricia Seiptius said. “I was looking for something online and one of the search results was this article, I looked at it and there was his name. I couldn’t believe it.”

AUSTRIA

Climber in crevasse ordeal

Mountain rescuers on Tuesday extracted a 70-year-old German man claiming to have been stuck for about a week in a glacier crevasse, police said, calling it incredible that he was still alive. The climber, who has not been named, was only slightly injured after his ordeal, although he was very cold and exhausted. He was airlifted to hospital in Innsbruck by helicopter. He told rescuers that he had set off about a week ago without crampons and that at about 3,000m up he had slid into the 20m deep crevasse. Other mountaineers were eventually alerted by his cries and called in rescuers. “It is a sensation that he survived there for a week,” police said. “He was very lucky.”

FRANCE

Man jailed for stabbing dog

A 51-year-old man has been given an eight-month prison sentence for killing a dachshund by repeatedly stabbing it with a fork, a court spokesman said on Tuesday. The homeless man was sentenced on Monday after being arrested at the weekend. Routine police checks revealed he was wanted on France’s Indian Ocean island of Reunion for animal cruelty after killing the dog, which belonged to the family he had been staying with.

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