Berlin: Police said a “hostage situation” arose at Hamburg airport, causing traffic to be halted and the terminals to be evacuated. The driver and his child have barricaded themselves in their car at the foot of a Turkish Airlines plane.
A man, 35, and a child, 4, are believed to be still in the vehicle, which is parked beneath a plane. German police recommended air travelers to avoid Hamburg airport due to the continuing hostage situation. All flights to and fro Hamburg Airport have been terminated as of Sunday morning local time. German police also quoted this situation as an attempt to relieve a hostage situation based on a “family drama.”
Negotiations are still ongoing after the incident began, and the standoff continues. According to preliminary reports, the man is of Turkish origin, and the incident is related to a child custody dispute. The man wants custody of his child and wants to board a Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul with his child. The man’s ex-wife (and the child’s mother) allegedly called police while the man was driving to the airport with the four-year-old, warning them of what was about to happen.
Police spokeswoman Sandra Levgruen stated that, “we believe that the child is physically well.” According to the spokesperson, a “large number of special forces” are on the ground attempting to resolve the hostage situation. The man’s wife had previously reported her child missing to Hamburg- police station.
According to local authorities, acoustic shutters were heard after parking his car on the tarmac, which could have been shot. Passengers on the plane were able to safely exit the plane via a gangway.
The airport’s official website announced Sunday morning that all flights had been canceled due to a large police operation. Due to a severe police conduct, take-offs and landings are currently not possible, stated in the website.
According to CCTV footage, a gunman rammed his car through the security area onto the tarmac, firing two shots into the air and flinging two burning bottles out of the vehicle, according to a police spokesman.
According to police, the suspect fired his weapon twice in the air and threw burning bottles from the vehicle. He drove his car to the airport’s apron, which is where planes are typically parked. Psychologists and negotiation officers, as well as Special Forces, are on the scene. Hamburg police confirmed the situation was still ongoing in the early hours of Sunday morning. The car remained parked on the airport’s apron.
The German Press Agency said that “we are relying on a negotiated solution here.” The police said they were encouraged by the length of the discussions: “That’s undeniably a good sign.”
According to local media, the incident caused delays for approximately 3,200 passengers. And the Hamburg airport officials, says “286 flights with approximately 34,500 passengers were scheduled for Sunday.”
When hearing from the police spokesperson, officers were communicating in Turkish through a translator. The child’s mother informed them that the father had made contact with her.
A spokesperson from Hamburg Airport said that the security measures are effective and criminals are willing to use force that can gain access to the airport. Apart from structural measures, alarm chains that worked flawlessly have been set up to ensure the safety of air traffic. It is not possible to provide greater detail on the security aspect, he concluded.