UPDATEAfter more than 18 hours of negotiations, the hostage situation at the airport of Hamburg, Germany, has ended. Last night an armed man managed to drive the car onto the tarmac. He stopped at a Turkish Airlines plane and allegedly demanded to be taken to Turkey with his four-year-old daughter. The police are currently investigating whether the perpetrator had explosives in his car, police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrün said. The emergency services assume there is a custody dispute. Air traffic to and from the airport had been suspended all this time.
LOOK. There was a massive police presence at Hamburg airport
Around a quarter past eight on Saturday evening, the man drove his car, according to the German newspaper ‘Bild’ an Audi without a license plate, onto the tarmac. He stopped right next to a Turkish Airlines passenger plane, which still had passengers on board. They were able to be evacuated after some time. For more than 18 hours, the armed man barricaded himself in his car, with his 4-year-old daughter as a hostage.
The police, who assumed that the man may have had explosives with him, have been negotiating with the man, who is 35 years old according to German media, together with a psychologist and an interpreter in Turkish. Those conversations lasted all night. The man finally surrendered to the police around 2:30 PM on Sunday afternoon. In a message on The four-year-old girl was taken care of by a medical team, but according to the police, she appears to be fine at first glance.
Even during the hostage situation, the police announced that they had visual contact with the child, and that the girl had also been heard during telephone conversations with the hostage taker. “Our highest priority is the protection of the child,” the police said.
The police assume there is a dispute over the custody of the child. The man’s wife had previously reported possible child abduction to the police, the spokesperson said. According to reports, the child stayed with the mother in Stade, in the state of Lower Saxony, on Saturday.
According to the German newspaper ‘Bild’, the perpetrator allegedly made an appointment with his ex-wife under a false name through a sales advertisement. Just after seven o’clock on Saturday evening, the man allegedly entered his ex-wife’s apartment and kidnapped their daughter.
Molotov cocktails and shots
Police believe the father took the child by force before driving to Hamburg and entering the airport grounds just after 8 p.m. There, the man drove straight through a gate, while, according to witnesses, he shot twice into the air and then threw two Molotov cocktails out the window. The fire brigade managed to extinguish it within a short time. According to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine, no significant damage was caused and no one was injured. The airport and all aircraft on the tarmac were evacuated on Saturday evening.
Hamburg airport was also closed once in October, but then due to a threat of attack on a flight from Tehran to Hamburg.
800 football fields
An airport spokeswoman emphasized on Sunday that the airport meets all legal safety requirements. The airport has an area of almost eight hundred football fields. This means that the site is vulnerable to people with bad intentions who are prepared to break through the fence with considerable force, the spokeswoman said.
He emphasized 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.
Airport still closed
“The access roads and terminals are currently still closed,” Hamburg Airport wrote in an update on X around 4 p.m. “We are in close consultation with the security services about when they will be released again. There will be more canceled and delayed flights.”
All this time, air traffic to and from Hamburg was suspended. On Saturday, 27 flights had to be canceled, affecting around 3,200 passengers. On Sunday, 286 flights were planned 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.
This content contains cookies from social media or other external platforms. Because you have disabled these cookies, this content remains hidden. Accept cookies from social media to still display the content.
Free unlimited access to Showbytes? Which can!
Log in or create an account and never miss anything from the stars.
Yes, I want free unlimited access