The man drove into the airport grounds on Saturday and stopped near a Turkish Airlines plane. According to German media, he demanded that he be flown to Turkey with his child. A custody dispute is probably the cause of the hostage situation.
According to police, the 35-year-old man did not resist arrest. “The man left the car with his daughter, went to the emergency services and was successfully arrested at that moment,” police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrün said on Sunday.
The police negotiated with the man in Turkish for 18 hours. German security services assumed that the man had a loaded firearm. The police are also looking into whether the man is carrying explosives or has them in the car. That investigation had not yet been completed when Levgrün spoke to the press.
Police believe that the father forcibly took his four-year-old daughter before driving to Hamburg and entering the airport grounds just after 8 p.m. There he allegedly shot several times into the air and threw burning bottles out of the car, the German newspaper said Image. As far as we know, no injuries were reported.
Air traffic resumes
The plane under which the man had parked his car was evacuated. Air traffic was stopped and the airport was also completely evacuated. The hostage crisis affected thousands of passengers. Flights had to be canceled and diverted. Travelers were asked not to come to the airport. The airport had 286 flights scheduled for Sunday with around 34,500 passengers. Two Brussels Airlines flights (one to Hamburg and one in the opposite direction) were also canceled on Sunday, according to the Brussels Airport website.
Air traffic could be resumed about three hours after the end of the hostage-taking operation. According to the Flightradar24 website, which allows aircraft to be tracked, the first aircraft to land in Hamburg was a Eurowings aircraft from Hannover.
A spokeswoman for Hamburg Airport says the airport meets all legal safety requirements. The airport has an area of almost 800 football fields. This means that the site is vulnerable to malicious parties who are prepared to break through the fence with considerable force, the spokeswoman said.
She emphasizes that there is a well-functioning safety system. Air traffic would also have been immediately stopped during the hostage situation. The airport would not be able to provide any further detailed information about security measures.