Berlin, November 5, 2023 – German police have issued a travel advisory, urging travelers to avoid Hamburg airport due to an ongoing hostage situation that began on Saturday night.The incident unfolded when an armed man forcibly entered the airport by breaking through a gate with his vehicle and firing shots into the air. According to German news agency dpa, the 35-year-old man was in possession of his 4-year-old daughter, whom he had reportedly taken by force from the mother, potentially as part of a custody battle.
Authorities have confirmed that the man’s wife had previously contacted them about the child’s abduction, leading to concerns about the child’s safety and the potential presence of weapons and explosive devices. As a result, the airport was evacuated, and flights were canceled.
Police have been engaged in negotiations with the man, and a psychologist has been working to resolve the situation peacefully. At this time, there is no indication that other passengers or individuals at the airport are at risk.
“Our top priority is to protect the child. According to our current knowledge, the child is physically well,” police stated. The mother of the abducted girl also arrived at the airport and is receiving psychological support.
“The mother naturally wants to get to her child as quickly as possible,” said Malte Stueben, the head of the German Red Cross crisis intervention team in Hamburg.
A pediatrician has been called to the airport to care for the child once the hostage situation is resolved. In the meantime, numerous flights have been canceled, and travelers have been affected, with some being accommodated in nearby hotels.