Tuesday February 20, 2024

Man held, child safe in Hamburg Airport drama, flights on hold

Published : 05 Nov 2023, 21:29

  DF News Desk
After many hours, the police were able to end the hostage situation at Hamburg Airport. Photo: Jonas Walzberg/dpa.

Some 18 hours after an armed man with his 4-year-old daughter in the car with him ploughed through gates at Hamburg Airport, police on Sunday were able to arrest the gunman, reported dpa.

Flights were expected to resume now that the hostage situation was over.

"The suspect had left the car with his daughter," the police wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "The man was detained without resistance by the emergency services. The child appears to be unharmed."

Police believe that a custody dispute may be the reason for the violent intrusion.

He had a gun and fired it twice into the air, according to federal police spokesman Thomas Gerbert.

The apparent family drama started on Saturday in Stade in nearby Lower Saxony, where his wife was staying. The woman had contacted the state police about a possible abduction. The Hamburg police wrote on X that they are "assuming that a custody dispute is the background to the operation."

The man, 35, held the girl hostage in the car, as she could be heard in the background during the negotiations, police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrün told dpa. The negotiations were conducted in Turkish.

The man, 35, broke through the gate around 8 pm (1900 GMT), shot into the air and threw incendiary devices from the car. His car was then parked next to a Turkish Airlines plane for more than 18 hours. The police tried for hours to end the hostage-taking without bloodshed - finally succeeding early on Sunday afternoon.

For the Hamburg police, it was "one of the longest and most challenging operations in recent history," according to Andy Grote, the interior senator for Hamburg. He thanked all his police colleagues for their strong performance.