Suspect arrested after 18-hour hostage situation at Hamburg Airport

Police believe the ongoing stand-off at Hamburg Airport is due to a custody dispute.

Suspect arrested after 18-hour hostage situation at Hamburg Airport

A major airport in Germany was closed for 18 hours following a ‘hostage situation’ involving a man with a child.

Police believe the ongoing stand-off at Hamburg Airport, which began when a 35-year-old man rammed a security barrier with a four-year-old passenger, is due to a custody dispute.

The incident began at around 8pm on Saturday, when the man smashed his Audi through a security barrier at the north gate and parked under one of the planes.

German police have now confirmed the stand-off has ended, with the suspect arrested and the child apparently unharmed.

The stand-off lasted for 18 hours, with no flights able to take off or land in that time.

A spokesperson for the airport said at least 27 flights and around 3,200 passengers had been affected.

Passengers were urged not to travel to the airport.

Local police would not confirm earlier reporting that the man was armed, had fired twice into the air with a weapon, and had thrown burning bottles from his car, Sky News reports.

Footage from the airport showed emergency services tackling two small fires.

HAMBURG, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 05: Passengers are evacuated from Hamburg Airport on November 5, 2023 in Hamburg, Germany. According to media reports, a man armed with a gun drove a car through a perimeter gate onto the tarmac, where he attempted to set several fires. He reportedly also has two children in the car with him and is now in a standoff with police. All flights from the airport have been cancelled and approaching flights diverted. (Photo by Gregor Fischer/Getty Images)
Passengers are still being evacuated from Hamburg Airport this morning (Picture: Gregor Fischer/Getty Images)
A police van observe the car of a hostage taker seen parked under a Turkish airline plane on the tarmac at the airport in Hamburg, northern Germany on November 5, 2023. Air traffic at Hamburg airport remained suspended Sunday over a suspected hostage situation on the tarmac involving a child, local authorities said. A gunman rammed his car through the security area onto the apron where planes are parked on Saturday evening, firing two shots in the air and flinging two burning bottles out of the vehicle, police said. (Photo by NEWS5 / Schr??der / NEWS5 / AFP) (Photo by NEWS5 / SCHRODER/NEWS5/AFP via Getty Images)
A police van observing the car of a hostage taker seen parked under a Turkish airline plane at Hamburg Airport (Picture: NEWS5/SCHRODER/NEWS5/AFP via Getty Images)
epa10958637 Firemen, rescue workers and police stand outside the airport in Hamburg, Germany, 04 November 2023, after an armed man broke through security and entered the grounds of the airport. police assumes a 'static hostage situation', Hamburg police wrote on X, previously known as Twitter. The wife of the man contacted police earlier about a possible child abduction. EPA/Blaulicht-News.de
Firemen, rescue workers and police stand outside the airport (Picture: EPA)

Hamburg police posted on X, formerly Twitter: ‘The car is still on the apron of Hamburg airport. We are currently assuming a custody dispute is the background to the operation.

‘Our negotiators are in contact with the person in the car.’

Federal police said the 35-year-old’s wife had previously called to warn of a possible child abduction before confirming a four-year-old child was also inside the vehicle.

They said officers are operating on the basis the man had taken the child from the mother possibly as part of a custody battle.

All passengers were evacuated from the airport and work is ongoing to safely remove travellers still on board aircraft on the tarmac.

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