Child hostage situation at Hamburg Airport ends as police arrest suspect

Image of Hamburg Airport.

Image of Hamburg Airport. Credit: Arne Müseler/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 de

AN 18-hour situation that forced the closure of the busiest airport in northern Germany has finally ended.

According to a tweet from Hamburg Police just before 1:30 pm this Sunday, November 5, the suspect – who was believed to have taken his four-year-old daughter hostage – was detained and did not resist arrest. The child appeared to be unharmed they added.

The post read: ‘Update: The hostage situation is over. 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’.

The situation began on Saturday evening when an armed man smashed his car through a set of perimeter gates at the northern end of the facility at around 8 pm.

‘++CURRENT++ There is currently a major police operation on the tarmac at @HamburgAirport. We are on site with a large contingent of emergency services. We are currently assuming a static hostage situation. More information to follow. #Hamburg #HamburgAirport’, read a tweet from the Federal Police at the time.

He subsequently drove the vehicle onto the tarmac and fired two shots in the air, according to the German news agency DPA.

They also revealed that he had thrown two burning Molotov cocktail bottles out of the vehicle. The man’s wife had already notified the authorities about the possible kidnapping of a child they added.

Flights in and out of Hamburg Airport were immediately cancelled as the event unfolded on the tarmac.

Thomas Gerbert, a spokesperson for the Federal Police indicated that a large number of state and federal police were at the scene. They had surrounded the 35-year-old suspect’s vehicle which he parked close to a Turkish Airlines plane.

As reported by the German newspaper Bild, the armed man was spotted driving in front of Terminal 1 in an Audi without a number plate.

Sandra Levgrün, a police spokesperson, told the news outlet: ‘This plane was occupied by passengers, but has now been evacuated and cleared’. They said it was thought the father wanted to fly with his daughter to Turkey.

Negotiations were ongoing this morning

‘Our negotiating group remains in contact with the suspect. We currently have to assume that he is in possession of a live firearm and possibly also explosive devices of an unknown type. Our top priority is protecting the child. According to our current findings, the child is doing well physically. Negotiations will continue’, the police tweeted at 11 am.

It is suspected that the child was the victim of a custody dispute between the man and his wife.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at