SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Man held at German airport as hostage stand-off ends


Police have arrested a man and rescued a child at the centre of a hostage stand-off at Hamburg airport, ending a crisis that had forced authorities to close the busy air hub.

A man, who police said was suspected of carrying a gun and possibly explosives, drove a vehicle through the gates of the airport on Saturday night, officers said.

Police said the 35-year-old man was with his four-year-old daughter and was thought to be involved in a custody dispute.

"The hostage situation is over," the city's police force wrote on social media platform X early on Sunday afternoon.

"The suspect got out of the car with his daughter. The man was arrested by the emergency services without resistance. The child appears to be unharmed," it added.

The airport said it was working to resume operations as quickly as possible.

A total of 286 flights with about 34,500 passengers had been scheduled for Sunday, it said earlier.

"I wish the mother, the child and her family a lot of strength to cope with this terrible experience," Hamburg mayor Peter Tschentscher wrote on X.

The hostage-taker had already been sentenced to a fine for kidnapping his daughter, most probably last year, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office in Stade, where the child's mother lives, told the DPA news agency.

The Turkish citizen was convicted of kidnapping minors by the Stade district court, the spokesman said, adding he would only be able to provide details about the fine on Monday.

According to the police, the man had already been investigated in Stade in March 2022 on suspicion of kidnapping minors after he travelled to Turkey with his daughter without authorisation.

However, the mother was later able to bring the child back to Germany, the Bild newspaper reported.

According to the police, the man abducted his daughter from her mother's flat in Stade on Saturday and fled with her in a car in the direction of Hamburg.

with DPA