Hamburg airport remains closed amid hostage drama


Hamburg airport remains closed on Sunday as police deal with a hostage situation they say likely involves a custody dispute.

The airport in Germany's north was closed for all takeoffs and landings on Saturday night after police arrived in large numbers on the scene to deal with a man who drove through a barrier onto the grounds of the airport with a child.

Police believe the 35-year-old man is holding his four-year-old daughter hostage in what appears to be a custody dispute.

A special police task force and police psychologist were at the scene and communicating with the man.

"The operation continues. Our negotiators are in contact with the person in the car," the police posted on Sunday on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

Police said the child's mother had told them the father had been in contact with her.

Police would not confirm their earlier statements that the man was armed and had fired shots.

Hamburg Airport has been completely evacuated.

Federal police spokesman Thomas Gerbert said the man's wife had previously contacted the state police about a possible child abduction.

He said there is a heavy state and federal police presence at the airport, with units deployed close to the vehicle in question. They included the federal police's evidence and arrest unit.

"They are very robustly equipped," said Gerbert.

A spokesperson for the airport said 27 flights had been affected.

In October authorities closed the same airport due to an attack threat on a flight from Tehran to Hamburg.

In July, climate activists from the Last Generation group paralysed the airport for hours. Flight operations had to be suspended for security reasons. Thousands of passengers were affected.

with Reuters