In Germany, the hostage-taking at Hamburg Airport has ended after more than 18 hours. The suspect was arrested Today, Sunday and the child appears to be unharmed. The father had left the car with his daughter.
Hamburg -Happy end to a battle of nerves at Hamburg Airport that lasted more than 18 hours. A hostage situation on the tarmac ended without bloodshed today, Sunday afternoon.
"The suspect had left the car together with his daughter," the police wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "The man allowed himself to be arrested by the emergency services without resistance. The child appears to be unharmed."
The armed hostage-taker had kept the police on tenterhooks since Saturday evening. At around 8 p.m., the 35-year-old broke through a barrier at the gate to the airport apron with his car and daughter. He shot into the air on the ground and threw incendiary devices from the car. His car was then parked next to a Turkish Airlines plane for more than 18 hours.
According to the police, this was probably preceded by a custody dispute with the mother. The police were in negotiations with the man throughout the night and on Sunday. Flight operations were suspended.
According to a spokesperson, the wife of the hostage-taker, who is said to have been staying in Stade near Hamburg, had contacted the state police about possible child abduction. The woman was at the airport on Sunday.
Thousands of people affected
The airport was closed over a wide area due to the hostage-taking. According to information from the airport on Sunday morning, 126 flights had already been canceled between the actual start of operations at 6:00am and 11:00am. Five arrivals had been diverted to other airports. For the entire day, 286 flights - 139 departures and 147 arrivals - with around 34,500 passengers were actually planned. According to the airport, it is unclear how many of these can actually take place. On Saturday, 27 flights with around 3200 passengers were already affected.
Flight operations suspended
Early on Sunday, the airport announced that flight operations would be suspended indefinitely due to the hostage situation. "There will be flight cancellations and delays throughout the day," the airport added. The police are asking passengers not to travel to the airport for the time being.
Passengers described their fears
"Frightening", "scary", this is how passengers who were taken from their planes described their impressions. A young woman who was flying to Mallorca on Saturday evening told the German Press Agency that she had seen a fire and initially thought it would be put out quickly.
Then she heard that there had been a rampage, which was really scary. In fact, the armed man had thrown incendiary bottles on his way out of the airport, which started a fire on the apron.
Another woman, who was also flying to Mallorca, said that she was only allowed to take her handbag with her when the plane was cleared. Everyone was calm, she said, but it was also scary because you didn't know what was going on.
One passenger said that she had seen a fire on the apron when boarding. Two minutes before the scheduled take-off, an announcement was made: "Please leave the aircraft calmly". Then suddenly everyone was told to hurry up.
Contact with hostage-taker
The Hamburg police negotiated with the man throughout the night. "We have just made good contact with the perpetrator," said a police spokeswoman late in the evening. Negotiations with the man, who is believed to be 35 years old, were conducted in Turkish language.
Previous security incidents
Hamburg Airport had already been closed in October, but at that time due to an attack threat on a flight from Tehran to Hamburg.
In July, climate activists from the Last Generation group paralysed Hamburg Airport for hours. Flight operations had to be suspended for several hours for security reasons. Thousands of passengers, including many families with children, were affected. At the time, there were calls for security to be tightened.
Francis Tawiah (Duisburg - Germany)