Several people killed in shooting in Swiss factory


Five killed and several injured after gunman goes berserk in Swiss wood processing plant
Shooting happened at around 8am GMT in the town of MenznauPolice said the gunman opened fire in
the company's canteenEstimates suggest one in three people in
Switzerland keep a gunLast month, gunman killed three
and wounded two in village of Daillon

By
Leon Watson and Allan Hall

PUBLISHED:

11:08 GMT, 27 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:51 GMT, 27 February 2013

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Five people are dead and several others injured after a gunman went berserk at a wood processing plant in Switzerland today.

The gunman committed suicide at the scene, confirmed police, as helicopters were scrambled to evacuate the wounded.

The shooting came just days after the Kronospan company said production had been reduced due to a massive timber shortage.

It was not immediately clear if the shooter was faced with the sack due to the downturn at the firm in Menzau, near Lucerne.

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Police stand in front of a wood-processing company in Menznau, central Switzerland, where several people were killed in a shooting

Police stand in front of a wood-processing company in Menznau, central Switzerland, where several people were killed in a shooting

Police said the gunman opened fire in
the company canteen. It is believed around 450 people work there.

'There are dead and there are wounded,' said Urs
Wigger, the police spokesman for the local canton.

Three helicopters were brought in to
ferry four seriously wounded survivors to two local hospitals after
gunfire began at shortly after 9am.

First reports said that a total of seven people in all were injured.

'People were lining up for their breakfast when all hell broke loose,' one man told a local radio station.

Another told a local newspaper: 'My son told me the guy just came in and opened fire and people fell like skittles.'

The canteen was visited later in the morning by the local council leader Adrain Duss who said: 'I am shocked and stunned.

Crime scene: A policeman stands in front of the premises of Kronospan, a company in the small town west of Lucerne

Crime scene: A policeman stands in front of the premises of Kronospan, a company in the small town west of Lucerne

Rescue services were deployed and the scene sealed off the plant near Lucerne, central Switzerland

Rescue services were deployed and the scene sealed off the plant near Lucerne, central Switzerland

Switzerland shooting

'This is an incomprehensible act. How anyone could do it is beyond reason.'

It was not immediately clear what sort of weapon the gunman used.

The shooting came barely two months
after a drug addict armed with three guns rampaged through a sleepy
Swiss village on January 3, shooting dead three women and injuring
several more people.

He was finally stopped in a shootout
with police, wounded and raced to hospital. He is now awaiting trial on
murder charges. Police say he had been drinking heavily in the village
of Daillon, near the border with Italy and France, before embarking on
his rampage.

Both shootings come amid a fierce debate in Switzerland about the easy access that citizens have to guns.

Men are allowed to keep their
military weapons at home when not serving in the army and the law
alliows for any citizen over 18 to easily obtain a weapon – whether a
reservist or not.

Some two million weapons are in
private hands in Switzerland while the authorities estimate there are
some 240,000 unregistered firearms.

VIDEO Scenes outside the factory after cafeteria shooting

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