German police announced on Sunday that they had put an end to the hostage-taking on the tarmac of Hamburg airport by arresting the man who had been holding his 4-year-old daughter in a car there since Saturday evening and who did not oppose any "resistance". “The hostage situation is over, the man left the car with his daughter and was arrested without resistance by the police,” local police said on X (formerly Twitter), specifying that the child “appears healthy.”
The German police had been engaged since Saturday evening in long negotiations to convince this father, armed and suspected of possessing explosives, to put an end to a hostage-taking on the tarmac of Hamburg airport. The man, aged 35, had been holding his 4-year-old daughter in a car parked at the foot of a Turkish Airlines airliner since Saturday evening, after forcing him around 8 p.m. local time (7 p.m. GMT). entrance to the airport, firing shots, in an attempt to leave for Turkey with his daughter. A conflict over custody of the child pits him against the mother, according to the authorities.
Initially, this father, of Turkish nationality according to the daily Bild, demanded to be able to leave on the plane to Turkey. Air traffic at Hamburg airport was suspended on Saturday evening and was to remain so on Sunday until further notice.
“We believe that the child is physically well, this is what we can observe and what we retain from the telephone conversations with the perpetrator. We can hear the child in the background,” police spokesperson Sandra Levgrün told regional public television channel NDR. On the other hand, “I don’t want to comment on the psychological state” of the little girl, she added. “We talk, talk and talk again” with the father “and try to reach a peaceful solution,” said the spokesperson. The police mobilized psychologists and teams of negotiators on site, in addition to intervention units.
The father of the family burst into the airport runway on Saturday evening, driving into a barrier, shooting twice in the air and throwing two burning bottles, "a kind of Molotov cocktail", out of the car. interior, according to police. He stopped at the foot of the Turkish Airlines plane which was about to leave. All passengers on the plane were evacuated. Regarding his motivations, the police speak of a “dispute concerning the custody of a child” between the father and the mother.
According to the daily Bild, the man wanted to board the airliner with his little daughter. Police said the negotiations were taking place in Turkish. Previously, the wife of the driver of the car had alerted the police to the kidnapping of this child, which occurred at her home in Stade, around thirty kilometers from Hamburg.
On Saturday evening, 17 flights scheduled to land in Hamburg, with 3,200 people on board, had to be diverted. For Sunday, 286 flights are in principle planned, carrying 34,500 passengers.