An armed man has broken into the airport of the city of Hamburg, Germany, with his car, taking his four-year-old daughter hostage in what, according to investigators, appears to be a dispute over the custody of the minor and that has caused the closure of the place and the cancellation of all flights.
The man, allegedly 35 years old, entered the airport through a barrier with his vehicle around 8:00 p.m. (local time) and reached the landing strip, where he fired his gun a couple of times and threw two burning bottles, "one "type of Molotov cocktails", which have already been extinguished by the airport firefighters, a spokeswoman for the Federal Police has informed the newspaper 'Welt'.
One of the latest updates from the Hamburg Police indicates that the situation is "stalled" at 10:00 a.m. while the negotiation team "remains in contact with the person in the vehicle." "We must assume that he possesses a real firearm and possibly also explosive devices of an unknown type," he indicated after twelve hours of litigation.
"Our main priority is to protect the minor. According to the data we currently have, the girl is physically well. Negotiations will continue," the Police added.
German media such as public television ARD have reported that the man had announced on several occasions his intention to hand over the girl, which for the moment has not happened.
The man's wife, who was in Stade, near Hamburg, had previously reported to the State Police about a possible kidnapping of children, the spokeswoman said, so "we are assuming a hostage situation."
"We assume that the background of the operation is a custody conflict," the Hamburg Police published on their X account, formerly Twitter, shortly before midnight.
The spokesperson reported that they are currently having "good contact with the perpetrator", with whom they are negotiating in Turkish and added that "here we trust in a negotiated solution."
He expressed optimism that the discussions continued for so long: "It's an absolutely good sign." "He is in front of us. He wants to talk to us and we initially assess it as very positive," he emphasized and explained that there is a special group of police and police psychologists at the scene.
A police spokesperson quoted by NDR 90.3 radio, Sandra Levgrün, highlighted that there are "criminal psychologists working." "We are talking to the kidnapper. We hope there is a negotiated solution," she stressed.
Passengers who were on the planes on the tarmac had to be evacuated and transferred to a nearby hotel. At the moment, the Police have no information on any injuries, including the perpetrator and the minor.
The airport's website has reported that, "due to a measure by the Federal Police, it is currently not possible to take off or land," to which the airport spokesperson added that normally there would be six takeoffs between the official closure of the airport. at 8:24 p.m. and the end of operations at 11:00 p.m. and 21 landings were expected. Some 3,200 passengers have been affected.