Connect with us


Armed Standoff at Hamburg Airport Ends Peacefully After Nearly 18 Hours



A standoff that shut down the Hamburg airport ended on Sunday afternoon, nearly 18 hours after German authorities responded to an armed man who drove his vehicle onto the tarmac and parked near a plane.

The situation was resolved when the man got out of his car with his 4-year-old daughter, whom he had taken from her mother on Saturday evening, the Hamburg police said. The man was arrested without resistance and the girl appeared unharmed, the police said on social media.

The airport said that preparations were underway to restart flight operations, which had all been suspended.

The police said earlier Sunday that it appeared that the man, 35, had come from the German state of Lower Saxony and that his intention was to take his daughter to Turkey, where he was from. The police negotiated with the man in Turkish throughout the night, they said.

The episode began around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the police said, when the man drove through a gate to get to the tarmac. They declined to say whether he had driven past any security guards.

The man fired at least one shot into the air, Sandra Levgrün, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg Police Department, said in an interview posted on social media. She said that no injuries had been reported. Two small fires were observed on the tarmac early on, though the authorities were still trying to determine if the man had set them.

Passengers aboard the plane near the vehicle and other planes were evacuated and taken to a nearby hotel, the police said.

Video posted on social media showed heavily armed officers escorting a group of passengers across the tarmac to a bus.

The woman who posted the video, Alina Tuider, 32, said her 8:05 flight home to Vienna was preparing for takeoff when the plane came to a halt.

“We saw armed police running across the field next to our plane,” Ms. Tuider said in a phone interview, adding that the plane had been grounded for about an hour by that time. “So we knew there was something going on.”

At one point, she thought she heard a gunshot before later learning about the armed driver from the news on her phone.

Around midnight local time, police evacuated her plane and she was later taken to a hotel.

Jin Yu Young and Emma Bubola contributed reporting.