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Last Updated: Friday, 30 September 2005, 01:22 GMT 02:22 UK
Air force payout cures Santa woes
A Father Christmas with a reindeer
Reindeers are a vital part of Christmas
The Danish air force has admitted causing the death of Rudolph the reindeer and has paid compensation to Father Christmas.

Olovi Nikkanoff, one of Denmark's professional Santa Clauses, says his reindeer died of shock as fighter planes flew low overhead.

The air force admitted liability and paid him 31,175 kroner (2,850).

"We're more than happy to pay if it means children around the world will get their presents," a spokesman said.

Mr Nikkanoff said he was devastated in February when he discovered his reindeer's body.

The animal had been grazing happily, he said, when two Danish F-16s thundered overhead.

He complained to the air force, which ordered an investigation.

"We got a letter from Santa complaining about his reindeer's death and looked into it seriously," air force spokesman Captain Morten Jensen told Associated Press.

Flight data showed the jets had been in the area at the time, and a vet concluded that their deafening roar had caused Rudolph to have heart failure.

Mr Nikkanoff feared he would have only one reindeer to pull his sleigh this Christmas.

But after the air force's decision he declared himself happy with the payout and said he was looking forward to this year's festive season with a new animal on his team.




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