German police were still trying to negotiate with a father more than six hours after he reportedly rammed his car through a security gate at Hamburg airport with his four-year-old daughter inside before throwing Molotov cocktails at the runway.
The armed man ploughed his Audi through an airport barrier at around 8pm local time (7pm GMT) last night and fired a weapon twice, police said. After firing the shots, the man threw two burning bottles out of the vehicle, they added.
Police said that the desperate wife of the gunman had earlier reported a possible child abduction.
They later said that the 35-year-old man had a four-year-old child inside the car and that they assumed he was the father and had taken the child by force from the mother in a possible custody battle.
The airport was quickly closed and passengers evacuated from planes that were parked on the runway, with police desperately trying to negotiate with the man. But those negotiations have lasted into the early hours of this morning.
Police officers were pictured stood outside Hamburg Airport while passengers were evacuated
Police vehicles closed off a road leading up to Hamburg Airport following reports of a ‘hostage situation’
Passengers were evacuated from Hamburg Airport today after a gunman drove through the airport at around 8pm local time
Police vehicles were pictured blocking access to Hamburg Airport
Police vehicles and ambulances arrive at the scene of a security breach at the Hamburg Airport
After firing the shots, the man threw two burning bottles out of the vehicle. Footage showed fires on the tarmac
Armed police patrol the airport as passengers were evacuated
Police guard the scene of a security breach at the Hamburg Airport after a vehicle broke through
Fire Department vehicles arrive at a security scene at the Hamburg Airport. Flights have been axed
Special police arrives at the airport in Hamburg following the shocking incident this evening
Firemen, rescue workers and police stand outside the airport in Hamburg as police deal with a ‘hostage situation’
A large number of officers from state and federal police were on site and in the vicinity of the vehicle, federal police spokesman Thomas Gerbert told German news agency dpa.
Police said no one appeared to be injured, but the airport announced it was currently closed for takeoffs and landings.
Hamburg Police tweeted to say there was a ‘major police operation’ at the airport ‘with a large contingent of emergency services’.
They added: ‘We are currently assuming a static hostage situation.’
Bild reports that the gunman drove in front of Terminal 1 in an Audi without a number plate.
The driver initially sped away but a few minutes later broke through a security barrier at the north gate and drove towards the planes.
He is said to have started fires in the airport area by throwing burning bottles out of the car which were described as ‘a kind of Molotov cocktails’ by police spokesman Mr Gerbert.
Footage shared on social media shows flames on the tarmac as fire crews rushed to the scene.
Passengers are evacuated from Hamburg Airport on November 5 after the incident
Parts of a destroyed barrier are removed form a gate at the airport in Hamburg after the gunman drove through a gate
Officers of German BFE police unit stand on the apron of Hamburg Airport while passengers are evacuated
A bus from Hamburgs public transport service displays an ‘Evacuation’ message on a display outside of Hamburg Airport
Special forces, fire crews and officers all descended on the scene as a major police operation is underway.
A spokesperson for the airport said 27 flights had been affected.
Police said that all terminals were evacuated – as was an aircraft which the armed man parked next to.
The passenger plane was full but its understood everyone has been evacuated and a collection point was set up at the nearby Radisson Blue hotel opposite the airport.
Police also said that a psychologist was talking with the man and that there was no indication other people could be harmed since all passengers had evacuated the airport.