A group of German tourists is said to have set fire to the roof of a restaurant in Mallorca with cigarettes and alcohol. That could have serious consequences for the men from the Münster area.

A long stay in Mallorca is a dream come true for fans of the Spanish holiday island – but that does not apply to 13 tourists from Germany who have been in custody in Palma since Saturday on charges of arson. The Germans face several years of imprisonment, as Spanish lawyers told the German Press Agency on Monday when asked. The fact that the suspects were not released on bail proves how difficult the responsible investigating judge considers the case to be.

What happened? The Germans, who according to the media are almost all between 24 and 29 years old, are accused of throwing cigarette butts onto the terrace roof of a restaurant at a party on two balconies of their hotel rooms in the immediate vicinity of the Ballermann on Friday afternoon shortly after their arrival on the island and also having poured alcohol on it. The reed roof caught fire. According to media reports, the flames damaged the restaurant and another bar as well as an adjacent apartment and the hotel. There is talk of property damage of at least 150,000 euros. Two people, a man and a young girl, were slightly injured, the media reported.

Probably firefighters among the suspects

Media reports that the accused come from near Münster and belong to a bowling club did not want to comment on request from the Mallorcan police. According to “preliminary” information from the city of Münster, at least some of them should be members of the local volunteer fire brigade.

The fire caused a particularly big stir on the island, which is used to incidents with tourists. The newspaper “Diario de Mallorca” had a photo on page one on Sunday that showed the suspects being taken in handcuffs to the judge’s interrogation. The “Guardia Civil” police unit has already evaluated security camera footage that confirms the previous assumptions and allegations, the paper wrote on Monday. A police spokesman declined to reveal anything when asked, but said he couldn’t “deny anything” either.

Testimonies burden German Mallorca vacationers

The statements of neighbors who assure that they have seen everything exactly cause outrage. “The tourists watched the whole thing from their balcony. They started filming the fire with their cell phones, bawled and laughed,” a man was quoted as saying by the “Mallorca Newspaper”. Another told the newspaper: “They partied for hours in rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floor of the hotel. The music was turned up, they poured beer from one balcony to the other and also onto the street.” They also threw down cigarettes. “Quickly the entire roof was on fire,” it said. It was “like a bomb”.

There is a lot of misunderstanding. “What’s going on in the minds of these young people?” asked one of those affected, the German landlady Alice. “They couldn’t have been that drunk, they still tried to run away,” said the woman from Cologne, who runs her restaurant “Why not Mallorca?” only opened in June 2021, in front of journalists. The entire outside area is now devastated.

Suspects remain silent on the arson charge

The accused are said to have exercised their right not to testify during their interrogation by the judge. The judge assumes “joint responsibility”, wrote the newspaper “Diario de Mallorca” and other media, citing the judiciary. In his report he emphasized the great danger in which people had been brought. The judge accused the Germans of a lack of willingness to cooperate.

One must now wait for the investigations to know whether there will be a trial against the Germans at all. Experience has shown that this could take some time. According to two lawyers interviewed, the suspects could face between one and three years’ imprisonment if charged and found guilty of negligent arson. In the case of intent and endangering human life, the verdict could also be significantly sharper, it said.

At the moment Ballermann is celebrating as wildly as before Corona. There are hardly any restrictions. In the past few weeks, there have been more fights and thefts in the German holiday hotspot, despite a “quality offensive” by the authorities.