The search for the ten-year-old boy, who fell into the Elbe on Tuesday at the Bubendey-Ufer ferry terminal in Hamburg, was initially not continued on Wednesday. A further search is not planned for the time being, said a police spokesman on Wednesday morning. But at noon it was at least known where the unaccompanied mentally handicapped boy came to the scene of the accident - namely from the railings of his special school.
That was what happened: On Tuesday, rescue workers from the police and fire brigade searched for hours with a large contingent for the boy who fell into the Elbe at around 11:15 a.m. Passers-by had observed the accident, and some men tried to help in vain. Police divers were at the scene until around 4 p.m. trying to find the boy.
The ten-year-old is an autistic boy who ran away from a special needs school in Hamburg-Marmstorf, as it became known on Wednesday. His parents were cared for by a crisis intervention team. A statement from the school authorities states: "The school authorities and the school community at Nymphenweg School are dismayed and deeply affected by yesterday's tragic accident and their thoughts are with the boy's family."
But how could this happen? Apparently, according to school authority spokesman Peter Albrecht, the student left the premises without permission on Tuesday morning during school hours. How the student was able to leave the premises is currently unclear. The entire premises of the school and the neighboring school are fenced around 1.60 m high, the exits are usually closed. In his previous career at the facility, this student had also never tried to leave the premises.
It is said that the school staff first searched the entire site, as well as the school site of the neighboring school and the immediate vicinity. After an unsuccessful search of around three quarters of an hour, the police and the persons having custody were informed at around 11.30 a.m. and a missing persons report was filed with the police. It goes on to say: "It is currently not possible to clarify how the mentally handicapped student covered the very long distance of around 15 kilometers from his school in Marmstorf to the Bubendey-Ufer ferry terminal in Finkenwerder. It takes an hour by public transport and is only possible by changing trains.” The school, the school supervisory board and the school authorities would now do everything they could to clarify the matter quickly and to support the police in their investigations.
Since the time of the drowning is closely related to the search operation, the disappearance was either not discovered for a long time - or the boy was motorized to the vicinity of the accident site by an unknown person. These possibilities are now also being explored.