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.
Local press reported that a total of 3,200 passengers were affected by delays due to the incident.
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.
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.
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