Greenpeace paraglider crashes into soccer stadium, injuring two

Protestor was supposed to fly overhead as part of protest pressuring Volkswagen to switch to electric vehicles.

Dan Verbin ,

Flash 90

A Greenpeace protestor flying in a paraglider tumbled into the stadium where the European Championship soccer match was about to be played, hitting two overhead camera lines and injuring two people.

According to the Associated Press, on Tuesday the protestor, who was strapped in a powered paraglider with a motor strapped to his back, lost control during his descent into the stadium and crashed into two overhead camera lines that were fixed to the stadium’s roof. The tangled up protestor buzzed over fans’ heads before landing on the field and main grandstand.

On his way down, he nearly collided with French coach Didier Deschamps.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said through spokesperson Steffen Seibert on Wednesday that what Greenpeace did was unacceptable.

“This was an irresponsible action that put people in great danger,” Seibert said.

He added that it was lucky the accident was not more serious.

Greenpeace apologized for the incident and the resulting injuries.

Benjamin Stephan of Greenpeace said that the plan was for the paraglider to fly over the stadium a safe distance away from danger in order to send a message to sponsor Volkswagen about the need to move away from diesel and gasoline to electric vehicles.

But there was a technical problem with the paraglider. The pilot was forced to attempt an emergency landing.

“We are in the process of clarifying this and are working with everyone and of course we take responsibility and would like to emphasize again that we’re very sorry, and that we apologize to the two people who were harmed,” Stephan said.

Local police are investigating, calling the stunt “irresponsible.”

Police stated that the two men who were injured sustained mild head injuries and have been released from the hospital.