Coronavirus crisis: Thomas Schäfer, the finance minister of the German state of Hesse has been found dead. Police suspect that he committed suicide.
Mr Schäfer’s body was found on a high-speed train line in the town of Hochheim between Frankfurt and Mainz.
Witnesses reported the presence of a body on the tracks to paramedics, who were unable to initially identify the remains due to the extent of the injuries, DW reported.
The body was identified as that of Mr Schäfer and the investigators who suspect that he committed suicide are yet to release further details about the case.
German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that Mr Schäfer left a note before committing suicide.
He reportedly had “considerable worries” over coronavirus (COVID-19).
In the last days he used to appear in public to inform the public about financial assistance during the coronavirus crisis.
Hesse state premier Volker Bouffier said they had learnt of Mr Schäfer’s death with “sadness and disbelief.”
Bouffier also said that Schäfer had been living under considerable worry and stress because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, DW reported. “His main concern was whether he could manage to fulfill the huge expectations of the population, especially in terms of financial aid,” Bouffier said on Sunday. “For him, there was clearly no way out. He was desperate, and so he had to leave us. That has shocked us, has shocked me.”
“Our sincere condolences go to his closest relatives,” he added.
Friedrich Merz who is considered apossible successor to Angela Merkel as chancellor tweeted this message on Mr Shäfer’s death: “News about the sudden death of Thomas Shäfer has deeply shaken me. As a personal and politician he was one of our best – this is a difficult loss. We will mourn him with his wife and children.”
Die Nachrichten über den plötzlichen Tod von Thomas Schäfer erschüttern mich zutiefst. Menschlich anständig und politisch einer unserer Besten – es ist ein schwerer Verlust. Wir trauern mit seiner Frau und den Kindern. (FM)— Friedrich Merz (@_FriedrichMerz) March 29, 2020
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has so far infected 52,547 and killed 389 people in Germany, latest report from the German disease and epidemic control center, Robert Koch Institute (RKI) shows. The incidence of coronavirus is highest in Hamburg, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.