Hamburg airport remains closed this morning as police attempt to negotiate with a father who rammed his car through a security gate and threw Molotov cocktails onto the runway, while holding his four-year-old daughter hostage in his car.
The situation has lasted for more than 12 hours, with German authorities warning that the airport would remain closed to takeoffs and landings while negotiations with the 35-year-old continue.
Authorities believe the terrifying ordeal was sparked by a “custody dispute,” with the shooter’s desperate wife reporting a possible child abduction, and the girl allegedly being forcibly taken from her mother.
Last night, the gunman, reported by the German newspaper Picture being a Turkish national, crossed an airport barrier with his Audi around 8 p.m. local time (7 p.m. GMT).
He fired a gun twice, then threw two burning bottles out of the vehicle, police said. The driver then barricaded himself at the foot of a Turkish Airlines plane.
The 35-year-old father allegedly rammed his Audi into the airport last night around 8pm local time, barricading himself at the foot of a Turkish Airlines plane. Pictured: Negotiations continue this morning – more than 12 hours later
Police photographed this morning near the track as the man remained in his car with a four-year-old girl.
Police vehicles and ambulances arrive at the scene of a security breach at Hamburg airport
Officers from the German BFE police unit stand on the tarmac at Hamburg airport as passengers are evacuated
Special police arrive at Hamburg airport following tonight’s shocking incident
This morning, Hamburg police and Hamburg Airport said the airport remained closed as negotiations with the father continued. The situation has lasted for more than 12 hours
The airport was quickly closed and passengers were evacuated from planes parked on the runway. Desperate, the police continued to negotiate with the man this morning.
Police psychologists are also present at the airport to try to negotiate a solution with the driver.
Hamburg Airport management posted on X shortly after 8 a.m. this morning: “The situation at the airport remains unchanged, the police operation continues.
“Flight operations will remain suspended until further notice. Police are asking all passengers and those picking them up not to come to the airport. Access roads are largely blocked.
City police added: “Negotiations will continue. The operational situation continues.
The force reiterated that traffic measures around the massive airport remain in place and entry into the airport remains impossible.
Police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrun told regional public broadcaster NDR that it appeared a father and child were in the car.
She called it a “very good sign” that he remained in contact with authorities for an extended period of time.
Police van monitors hostage-taker’s car parked under Turkish Airlines plane
Police gather at airport this morning as hostage taking continues
Police officers were photographed outside Hamburg airport as passengers were evacuated.
Police vehicles block a road leading to Hamburg airport following reports of a ‘hostage situation’
Passengers were evacuated from Hamburg Airport today after an armed man walked through the airport around 8 p.m. local time.
Police vehicles were photographed blocking access to Hamburg airport
After shooting, the man threw two flaming bottles out of the vehicle. Images showed fires on the tarmac
Armed police officers patrol the airport as passengers are evacuated
Police guard scene of security breach at Hamburg airport after vehicle breaks in
Firefighters arrive at the security scene at Hamburg Airport. Flights have been canceled
Firefighters, rescue workers and police stand outside Hamburg airport as police face ‘hostage situation’
The incident caused major and ongoing disruption at one of Europe’s busiest airports.
On Saturday evening alone, 17 flights due to land in Hamburg were diverted. Another 286 flights are planned today, carrying some 34,500 passengers.
Yesterday evening, a large number of federal and state police officers were on site and near the vehicle, federal police spokesman Thomas Gerbert told the German news agency dpa .
Police said no one appeared to be injured, but the airport said it was currently closed to takeoffs and landings.
Bild reported that the shooter was driving past Terminal 1 in an Audi without a license plate.
The driver initially fled, but a few minutes later he broke through a security barrier at the north gate and headed toward the planes.
He allegedly started fires in the airport area by throwing flaming bottles out of the car which were described as “a kind of Molotov cocktail” by police spokesman Mr Gerbert.
Images shared on social media showed flames on the tarmac as firefighters rushed to the scene.
Passengers are evacuated from Hamburg airport on November 5 after the incident
Parts of a destroyed barrier removed from a Hamburg airport gate after the shooter broke through a gate
A Hamburg Public Transport Service bus displays an “Evacuation” message on a screen outside Hamburg Airport.
Special forces, firefighters and officers all descended on the scene as a major police operation continued this morning.
Police said all terminals were evacuated, along with a plane the gunman was parked next to.
The passenger plane was full but it appears everyone was evacuated and a collection point was set up at the nearby Radisson Blue hotel, opposite the airport.
Police also said a psychologist was speaking with the man and there was no indication other people might be injured since all passengers had evacuated the airport.