Hamburg airport flights halted over ‘hostage’ situation

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The daily Bild newspaper said the man wanted to be allowed to board a plane to Turkey with his daughter, aged four.
Photo: NEWS5 / Schröder / NEWS5/AFP
Source: AFP

Air traffic at Hamburg airport remained suspended Sunday over a hostage situation on the tarmac involving a father and his child, German authorities said.

The daily Bild newspaper said the man, a 35-year-old Turk, wanted to be allowed to board a plane to Turkey with his daughter, aged four.

“The negotiations are continuing,” in Turkish, police said on X, formerly Twitter, nearly 15 hours after a gunman rammed his car through the security area onto the apron where planes are parked on Saturday evening.

He fired two shots in the air and threw two burning bottles out of the vehicle, police said.

The driver has barricaded himself and the child in his car at the foot of a Turkish Airlines plane.

“We believe that the child is physically well,” police spokeswoman Sandra Levgruen told regional television channel NDR.

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“That’s what we can see and what we gather from telephone conversation with the man responsible for what has happened. We can hear the child in the background.”

“I don’t want to talk about her mental state,” the spokeswoman added.

“We are talking, talking and talking again,” with the father, and “trying to find a peaceful solution,” she added.

Authorities said a dispute over custody of the child was believed to be the cause of the incident, with the wife of the driver placing an emergency call alerting police to the abduction of her child.

Staff and passengers were evacuated from Hamburg airport
Staff and passengers were evacuated from Hamburg airport.
Source: AFP

“We are on site with a large contingent of emergency services. We are currently assuming a static hostage situation,” police had posted earlier on X from the northern city.

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Levgruen said it was “very good sign” that the father remained in contact with the authorities over a prolonged period of time.

On Sunday morning the airport management posted on X saying, “The police operation continues, air traffic remains suspended until further notice.”

On Saturday evening, 17 flights scheduled to land in Hamburg were diverted. Another 286 flights are scheduled for Sunday, carrying some 34,500 passengers.

Source: AFP

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