Woman barricades herself: After hours of police operation in Aachen's Luisenhospital - many questions remain unanswered

After the large-scale operation by the police and fire brigade at the Luisenhospital in Aachen, the investigators have many open questions to clarify on Tuesday.

Woman barricades herself: After hours of police operation in Aachen's Luisenhospital - many questions remain unanswered

After the large-scale operation by the police and fire brigade at the Luisenhospital in Aachen, the investigators have many open questions to clarify on Tuesday. A 65-year-old woman spread fear and terror there for hours on Monday evening with a dummy explosive and a blank gun. The investigators assume suicidal intentions.

During the course of the operation it became known that the woman's apartment in Eschweiler had burned out on Monday afternoon. She is suspected of setting the fire herself. The Cologne police headquarters reported a corresponding letter early on Tuesday morning. Details on the background were not initially known.

“The 65-year-old is said to have entered the Luisenhospital around 5 p.m. with a weapon that later turned out to be a blank gun, a noticeably large belt and another, as yet unknown, object and threatened employees of the physiotherapy practice,” the police report says. After an employee managed to take the weapon away from her, she is said to have retreated into a patient's room, ignited a pyrotechnic object and thrown it into the hallway.

When she left the room at 10:38 p.m. and tried to burn an object in the hallway, the police officers pulled out their firearms to end the dangerous situation. The woman suffered serious injuries and received medical treatment. Details about the nature of the injuries were not initially provided. According to initial information, no other people were injured.

Reason for the bloody "emergency access": The 65-year-old's noticeably large belt looked like an explosive belt to the police. She also had “a suspicious object” in her hand and was moving towards the emergency services. Since the woman did not respond to being spoken to, a firearm was used. Only later were specialists from the State Criminal Police Office able to clarify that the belt was a dummy.

A fire in the Luisenhospital was reported to the Aachen fire department late on Monday afternoon. It was only late in the evening that the city of Aachen reported that the fire in the hospital's bed area had been extinguished.

Accordingly, almost 400 people were on site. The emergency pastoral care was represented by eleven people. 73 affected people from the Luisenhospital were cared for. “Four people from the intensive care unit have to be transported to other hospitals,” the city said. 270 patients could have stayed in hospital. In the hours before the access, it could be seen how the clinic operations continued, at least partially, behind the wrought iron bars of the extensively cordoned off clinic.

The hospital area in the woman's immediate area was immediately evacuated. Patients and staff were brought to safety, reported Aachen police spokesman Andreas Müller. A heavily armed special operations team was deployed, and a helicopter occasionally circled over the hospital. There had been repeated speculation about a possible hostage-taking, but the police had not confirmed this.

During the operation, which lasted several hours, there were also restrictions on road and rail traffic. As a precaution, a section of the railway line in the west of the city was closed and trains were waiting at stations.

The hospital, located on the edge of the center, is run by a Protestant association. According to the company's own information, patients with a wide variety of illnesses are treated in 15 clinics. One of the open questions is whether the woman had specifically chosen the hospital.

Do you have suicidal thoughts? Telephone counseling offers help. It is anonymous, free and available 24 hours a day on (0800) 1110111 and (0800) 1110222. Advice via email is also possible. A list of nationwide help centers can be found on the website of the German Society for Suicide Prevention.

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