Dan­ish sub in­ven­tor jailed

Writer is said to have joined owner aboard ves­sel, which sank

The Dallas Morning News - - World -

Peter Mad­sen, whose 60-foot-long sub­ma­rine sank off the coast of Den­mark, has been jailed in the dis­ap­pear­ance of a woman who was his pas­sen­ger.

COPEN­HAGEN, Den­mark — Did a Dan­ish sub­ma­rine in­ven­tor kill his only pas­sen­ger, a Swedish jour­nal­ist who had ac­com­pa­nied him on­board for a story?

The ques­tion is grip­ping the pub­lic’s imag­i­na­tion and mak­ing head­lines in Den­mark and Swe­den.

The in­ven­tor, Peter Mad­sen, an am­a­teur space rocket and sub­ma­rine builder known here as “Rocket Mad­sen,” has been jailed on charges of in­vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal me­dia, even though the jour­nal­ist, Kim Wall, 30, re­mains miss­ing.

On Satur­day, Mad­sen, 46, ap­peared be­fore a judge, but the pros­e­cu­tion did not say how, where or why Wall was killed. The de­fen­dant de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

The court or­dered Mad­sen held in pre­trial de­ten­tion for 24 days while po­lice in­ves­ti­gate Wall’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

Wall, a free­lance jour­nal­ist, van­ished Thurs­day after leav­ing the port of Copen­hagen on the UC3 Nau­tilus, a 40-ton, 60-foot-long sub­ma­rine built and op­er­ated by Mad­sen.

As the ves­sel left Copen­hagen, a passer-by hap­pened to take a pho­to­graph show­ing Wall smil­ing from the sub­ma­rine’s tower, ac­cord­ing to the lo­cal me­dia. She has not been seen or heard from since. Her body has not been re­cov­ered, ei­ther.

Early Fri­day, her boyfriend re­ported her miss­ing, and a search-and-res­cue op­er­a­tion quickly found the ves­sel in a bay south of Copen­hagen. The sub­ma­rine sank just as Mad­sen jumped into the wa­ter and swam to­ward a res­cue boat, a res­cuer said.

As he was brought to shore, Mad­sen told the lo­cal tele­vi­sion sta­tion TV2 that he had been on a test drive when he ran into prob­lems with a valve on a bal­last tank on the ves­sel.

“I was toy­ing with var­i­ous things on the sub­ma­rine and then an er­ror oc­curred,” he said, adding that he had only 30 sec­onds to leave the ves­sel be­fore it sank.

Ac­cord­ing to a po­lice state­ment, Mad­sen said he dropped off Wall in a re­mote part of the port of Copen­hagen around 10.30 p.m. and con­tin­ued alone.

A fam­ily state­ment sent by Tom Wall, Kim Wall’s brother, said she had been with Mad­sen for an in­ter­view when she van­ished. “We sin­cerely hope that she will be found and that she is well,” the state­ment said.

Kim Wall is a grad­u­ate of Columbia Uni­ver­sity, and her work has ap­peared in a wide range of in­ter­na­tional pub­li­ca­tions.

On Satur­day, au­thor­i­ties raised the ves­sel from a depth of 22 feet and started tak­ing it to shore. Divers were un­able to en­ter the sub­ma­rine.

For years Mad­sen has led a com­mu­nity of am­a­teurs in Copen­hagen work­ing to launch the world’s first manned am­a­teur space rocket. Other mem­bers of the com­mu­nity suc­cess­fully launched an un­manned rocket 1.7 miles into the air in 2011.

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A woman was pho­tographed Fri1iy in ttr sul­mir­inr’s towrr in Lo­prn­ti6rn Hir­lor. Ttr sul’s in­vrn­toro ,rtrr Mi1s­rno siys ttit tr 1roppr1 0ournilist Kim Will oss on storr it 10:30 p.m. in1 ttit ttr vrssrl litrr sink.


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