Hamburg Airport Hostage Ended After 18 Hours
A dramatic Hamburg Airport hostagesituation which led to a complete suspension of flights, has been peacefully resolved, police officials reported. The ordeal began on Saturday when a 35-year-old male suspect, allegedly involved in a custody dispute, breached airport security and created a stand-off that lasted nearly 18 hours.
"A 35-year-old male suspect has now left his car with his 4-year-old daughter," announced Hamburg police on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter. This statement came as a sigh of relief after intense hours of uncertainty and fear. "He did not resist arrest and the girl is seemingly not injured," the officers added, marking a peaceful end to a crisis that had gripped the nation's attention.
The suspect had earlier caused a security breach by smashing through with his vehicle and parking underneath an airplane. "As of midnight Sunday, the driver was still in his car with his daughter," the police spokesperson had informed during the standoff. A significant number of special forces were deployed, trying to de-escalate the situation after the suspect's wife alerted the Hamburg-Stade police of her missing child.
Upon the vehicle's halting on the tarmac, "acoustic shocks were heard, which could have been shots," according to the spokesperson. Fortunately, passengers of the nearby aircraft were able to disembark safely.
As per the airport's official communication channels, all flight operations were grounded on Saturday evening due to the unfolding police operation. The cessation of flights continued into Sunday morning as authorities worked to relieve the hostage crisis at the heart of what was described as a "family drama."
Negotiations with the suspect persisted, with police sharing via social media on Sunday at 8.35 a.m. local time that they were in ongoing dialogues with the man. The police operated under the assumption that the suspect was armed and potentially in possession of "explosive devices of an unknown type," with the child's safety being the paramount concern.
Eventually, the standoff concluded on Sunday afternoon without any harm coming to the child or the broader public. "The situation was resolved when the man got out of his car with his 4-year-old daughter," the Hamburg police conveyed through a social media post. The man was apprehended without incident, and the young girl appeared to be in good health.
The Hamburg Airport then began to make preparations to resume flight operations that had been on hold due to the incident. The police provided further details, revealing that the man had come from Lower Saxony with the intention of taking his daughter to Turkey. Throughout the night, negotiations were conducted in Turkish.
The event was initially triggered around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, culminating in the suspect driving through a gate onto the tarmac. Authorities declined to comment on the specifics of the security breach. "The man fired at least one shot into the air," stated Sandra Levgrün, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg Police Department.
In the midst of the chaos, passengers were evacuated from the vicinity and housed in nearby accommodations. A video circulating on social media showed passengers being escorted across the tarmac, illustrating the tense environment as armed police secured the area.
Alina Tuider, a passenger whose flight was interrupted, recounted, "We saw armed police running across the field next to our plane... So we knew there was something going on." She described the uncertainty and anxiety that followed, including the sound that she believed to be a gunshot.
As the situation unfolded, the suspect's actions, including driving through the airport's security gate and firing shots, as well as potentially setting fires on the tarmac, were detailed by the authorities and media outlets. Federal police confirmed the safety of all passengers and the evacuation of the plane.
The incident, which saw nearly 3,200 passengers affected by the cancellations, concluded with the man's arrest and his daughter's safety ensured. Police confirmed the peaceful resolution and expressed relief that the event ended without further incident.