The Hamburg Airport hostage crisis was peacefully resolved on Sunday afternoon, following intense negotiations that lasted approximately 18 hours. A Turkish national was taken into custody by German authorities, and his 4-year-old daughter, who had been held with him inside the vehicle, was found unharmed.
The Hamburg police confirmed via X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that the suspect had voluntarily exited the car with his daughter and was apprehended without any resistance. The emergency unfolded Saturday night when the man, reportedly embroiled in a custody dispute, forced his way through an airport gate while armed and discharged his weapon into the air twice, as reported by dpa, the German news agency.
The man then positioned his vehicle beneath an aircraft near a terminal building, triggering a security lockdown of the airport. Flights were canceled, and the airport was evacuated. The suspect’s ex-wife had previously alerted authorities to a potential child abduction, aligning with the man’s history; he had been investigated for taking his daughter to Turkey without consent in March 2022.
Throughout the negotiation, which involved a psychologist, there were no injuries reported. The child’s mother was also present at the airport on Sunday. Police, adhering to German privacy laws, have withheld the name of the suspect. However, it was disclosed that during the standoff, he demanded to leave Germany with his daughter for Turkey, stationing his vehicle next to a Turkish Airlines plane.
The airport was closed for nearly a full day, resulting in the cancellation of over 100 flights and disruptions to thousands of travelers, many of whom were accommodated in nearby hotels.
Flight operations recommenced Sunday evening. Hamburg’s Mayor Peter Tschentscher took to X to express his relief that the crisis ended without any casualties, lauding the police for their efforts. He also conveyed his sympathies to the child’s mother and her family, wishing them strength in the aftermath of the ordeal.