From: Associated Press
Published November 14, 2005 12:00 AM

German Police Investigating Threat To Poison Lake Constance

BERLIN — Police in southern Germany found two suspect containers in Lake Constance and were investigating a threat to poison the waters, authorities said Monday.


The open containers were found Wednesday at the bottom of the lake in 70-meter (about 230-foot) -deep water, about 300 meters (yards) from the shore, said Baden-Wuerttemberg state environment ministry spokesman Karl Franz.


Authorities were now analyzing the containers for traces of the herbicide Atrazine or other substances, and scouring the lake in case there were more containers, Franz said.


He said the water has been extensively tested and that no danger exists for the 4.5 million people who use Lake Constance, which is shared by Germany, Austria and Switzerland, for drinking water.


"There is no reason to panic," Franz said in a telephone interview.


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The authority that manages Lake Constance's water received a letter Oct. 18 threatening to dump pesticides into the lake. The author's only demand was that the press be informed, Franz said.


It was kept quiet for a month in order to try and track the author, Franz said.


The letter was anonymous, but police said in a statement they already had a lead on a suspect.


Since the letter was sent, police and suppliers in Baden-Wuerttemberg had tightened their controls on the sales of pesticides, according to the joint statement from police, prosecutors, the BWV agency in charge of Lake Constance's waters and other authorities.


Source: Associated Press


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