Police operation at the airport: hostage situation at Hamburg airport – operations suspended

Hamburg Airport has been evacuated due to an armed man in a car entering the apron.

Police operation at the airport: hostage situation at Hamburg airport – operations suspended

Hamburg Airport has been evacuated due to an armed man in a car entering the apron. Several planes had also been evacuated, an airport spokeswoman told the German Press Agency on Saturday evening.

According to the federal police, an armed man broke through a gate with his vehicle around 8 p.m. and drove onto the airport apron. The man had a gun and had already shot it twice into the air. He also threw two burning bottles out of the car, "a kind of Molotov cocktails," said a federal police spokesman. There was no damage and the airport fire department was able to extinguish the bottles.

According to the information, it has now been confirmed that a four-year-old child is in the man's car. A special police task force and police psychologists are on site. “We are currently assuming a hostage situation,” said a spokesman for the Hamburg police to the German Press Agency. It was unclear whether there was a second child in the vehicle, as initially suspected. The man's wife had previously reported to the state police about possible child abduction, the spokesman said.

Negotiations with the man are currently taking place in Turkish. “We have good contact with the perpetrator,” said a police spokeswoman late Saturday evening. Officials assume that a custody dispute may be the background to the incident at Hamburg Airport. According to what we know so far, the child that the man had with him was with the mother in Stade on Saturday. It is assumed that the father "took the child away" from the mother and possibly put him in the car using force before driving to Hamburg and onto the airport tarmac, a police spokeswoman said when asked in the evening.

Strong forces from the state and federal police are on site, said the federal police spokesman. They were near the vehicle. This also includes the Federal Police's Evidence and Arrest Unit. “They are very robustly equipped,” it said. A video on the X platform (formerly Twitter) shows numerous police officers who positioned themselves on site.

The airport's homepage said in the evening: "Due to a federal police measure, take-offs and landings are currently not possible." The airport spokeswoman said six take-offs and 21 landings would normally have been expected between the official closure of the airport at 8:24 p.m. and the end of operations at 11 p.m.

The expected flights would come from Hurghada, Agadir, Malaga and Lisbon, among others, it was said. Some of them have already been rerouted and some flights have been canceled. What happens next with air traffic depends on the operational situation, said the spokeswoman in Hamburg.

Hamburg airport had already been closed in October, but at that time because of a threat of attack on a plane from Tehran to Hamburg. In July, climate activists from the group Last Generation shut down Hamburg airport for hours. Flight operations had to be stopped for several hours for safety reasons. Thousands of passengers, including many families with children, were affected.

The post will be updated.

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