Hamburg Airport hostage situation: what has happened, is the airport closed - are departures and arrivals affected?
Hamburg Airport remains closed after an armed man drove onto the runway “holding his four-year-old daughter hostage”
Police in Germany have confirmed the hostage situation at Hamburg Airport is over after an armed man drove through a security barrier and onto the tarmac last night (Saturday 4 November). The driver entered the airport at about 8pm local time (7pm GMT) and all flights at the airport were indefinitely suspended.
It is understood that the man, 35, and a child, four, remained in the vehicle parked under a plane. In the early hours of this morning (Sunday 5 November) Hamburg police confirmed the situation was ongoing but in a recent update confirmed that the man has been arrested and his daughter is safe.
Police said a psychologist had been negotiating with the man for hours and there was no indication that other people could be harmed because the airport had been evacuated of all passengers. The force added that the 35-year-old man had his four-year-old daughter inside the car after reportedly taking her from her mother by force in a possible custody battle.
Police believe that "a custody dispute is the background to this operation", and the suspect shot his weapon twice in the air and threw burning bottles from the vehicle. He drove his car to the airport’s apron, the area where aircraft are usually parked. Psychologists as well as officers specialised in negotiations were on site, police said, along with special forces.
Hamburg police said on X, formerly known as Twitter: "We are on site with a large contingent of emergency services. We are currently assuming a static hostage situation.”
The airport, in the northern part of the city, has been closed to passengers and flights since Saturday night. Hamburg police are advising travellers not to use the airport due to a developing situation. Arriving planes have either been re-routed to other German airports or cancelled.
In an update released after 8am UK time on Sunday, Hamburg Airport said passengers have been asked to stay away as the police operation continues. It added: "The situation at the airport remains unchanged, the police operation continues. Flight operations will remain suspended until further notice. The police ask all passengers and those collecting them NOT to come to the airport. The access roads are largely blocked off."
Police wrote on X: “We must currently assume that he is in possession of a live firearm and possibly also explosive devices of an unknown type. Our top priority is to protect the child. According to our current knowledge, the child is physically well.”