Updated: Police officer killed in accident on central Copenhagen bridge

A 35-year-old police officer lost his life in the early hours of Tuesday in a traffic accident on the Langebro bridge in central Copenhagen.

Updated: Police officer killed in accident on central Copenhagen bridge
Langebro. File photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix

The man was on duty when he was killed, chief superintendent Jørgen Bergen Skov confirmed in a Copenhagen Police press statement.

“We receive the message (of the officer’s death) with great sorrow,” Skov said in the statement.

“He was a popular colleague and will be greatly missed at Copenhagen Police. My thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his loved ones,” he said.

The officer's involvement in the road accident occurred by chance, police said.

The bridge was closed for several hours due to the fatal accident, which involved at least six vehicles.

“We were alerted at 00:24 to an accident in which six to seven cars collided on the side of the road heading into Copenhagen. One person died here,” Copenhagen Police duty officer Michael Andersen said.

Police technicians subsequently began investigations into the cause of the crash, resulting in the closure of the bridge until 4:30am on Tuesday.

A significant amount of debris, including oil and cooling fluids from the involved vehicles, had to be cleared from the road.

Andersen also confirmed that one person fled from the scene of the accident. Police subsequently detained a 25-year-old man who is presumed to be the individual in question.

He was arrested at 1:57am at the accident and emergency department of Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

He is scheduled to attend preliminary court procedure on Tuesday afternoon. The nature of the complaint against him is yet to be confirmed.

Police are continuing investigations to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the accident.

Images published on social media by Copenhagen’s fire service, Hovedstadens Beredskab, show the extent of emergency services present on the bridge at 1:08 am on Tuesday.

No other people were seriously injured in the accident.

All police stations in Denmark will lower their flags to half-mast on Tuesday.

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Copenhagen to miss 2025 zero emissions target

Copenhagen will not reach its longstanding target of becoming CO2 emissions neutral by 2025.

Cyclists on Copenhagen's
Cyclists on Copenhagen's "Lille Langebro" bridge. The Danish capital has admitted to errors in emissions calculations and says it won't be climate neutral in 2025, a long-standing target. Photo by Febiyan on Unsplash

A city councillor told newspaper Jyllands-Posten that the city, which has long stated its aim of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital, would not meet that target as scheduled.

“I won’t need to stand there in 2025 and say ‘hurrah, we’re CO2 neutral’, because I know that CO2 will still be emitted (then),” elected representative Ninna Hedeager Olsen of the Copenhagen Municipality environment section told Jyllands-Posten.

Tourist board Visit Denmark has previously used the emissions goal to market the city, while Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen named the target during the C40 climate summit when it was hosted by Copenhagen in 2019.

But the municipality has included wind energy produced in other municipalities in its calculations on energy sustainability, according to the newspaper report.

This means it effectively still emits CO2 overall.

The company which supplies energy to the city, Hofor, has erected windmills in a number of municipalities outside of Copenhagen. But the electricity produced by these windmills has been used in calculations of CO2 emissions in both Copenhagen and in the municipalities in which the windmills are actually located.

The replication of the energy production in data for different locations can “rightly” be said to be “cheating the scales”, according to Hedeager Olsen.

But that is not the only problem in calculations of the city’s emissions, she also admitted.

“There are loads of things that haven’t been counted,” she said.

The goal to become climate neutral by 2025 was first set by the city in 2012 in a climate plan adopted by the city government.

Copenhagen was the following year awarded the Cities Climate Leadership award for the plan.