Air traffic to and from Hamburg airport in Germany was still suspended on Sunday afternoon due to a hostage taking on the tarmac. On Saturday evening, an armed man drove into the airport with a 4-year-old girl in his car, most likely his daughter. “Negotiations are still ongoing,” German police said.
Source: BELGA, De Telegraaf
Today at 12:20
Air traffic to and from Hamburg was halted on Saturday evening just after 8 p.m. because an armed man drove his car through the airport barriers and parked his car next to a Turkish Airlines plane. The man with a pistol also fired two shots in the air. The man had also started several fires in the vicinity of the airport and threw two Molotov cocktails from his car. No significant damage was caused and the fires were quickly extinguished.
The man, who police say is about 35 years old, has a four-year-old child with him. It is probably his daughter, whom he took with him earlier in the day from her mother in Stade, in the state of Lower Saxony. The mother had also reported the kidnapping to the police, who suspect there is a custody dispute over the girl. Previous reports that the man also had a second child with him appear to be incorrect.
According to the newspaper Image does the man want to be flown to Turkey together with the child? Initially there were already passengers on the Turkish Airlines plane, but the plane has since been evacuated.
The police have been negotiating with the hostage taker since Saturday evening, apparently in Turkish. “Police psychologists are present and we are currently speaking to the perpetrator. We rely on a negotiated solution,” a police spokesperson said early Sunday morning. “He wants to talk to us and we initially assess that as very positive.”
Around 11 a.m. Sunday morning, police reported that a “negotiation team remains in contact with the suspect.” “We currently have to assume that he is in possession of a loaded firearm and possibly also explosives of an unknown type. Our top priority is protecting the child.” Police say the child appears to be unharmed.
Air traffic suspended
The airport announced around 4 a.m. Sunday morning that air traffic will remain suspended indefinitely and that cancellations and delays will continue throughout the day. The police ask passengers not to go to the airport. The airport and all aircraft on the tarmac were evacuated on Saturday evening. At least 27 flights and 3,200 passengers have already been affected. Stranded travelers have been moved to a hotel.
Hamburg airport was already temporarily closed in October due to a threatened terrorist attack on a plane from the Iranian capital Tehran to Hamburg.