Hamburg Airport closed as man holds child hostage in car parked underneath plane

Police say they believe the incident stems from a custody battle

Hamburg Airport is closed as police negotiate with a man they say is holding a child hostage in a car parked by a plane.

The incident began at about 8pm on Saturday when the 35-year-old man rammed his car through the security area onto the tarmac. The man fired two shots in the air and flung two burning bottles out of his vehicle, German police said.

The man is currently in the car parked on the tarmac beneath a plane. A 4-year-old is believed to be inside, a police representative said.

Police said the child’s mother had told them the father had been in contact with her and they believe “that a custody dispute is the background to this operation”.

“The operation continues. Our negotiators are in contact with the person in the car,” police posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Police spokeswoman Sandra Levgrun called it a “very good sign” that the man had remained in contact with the authorities.

The driver has barricaded himself in his car at the foot of a Turkish Airlines plane. Bild newspaper reported that the man is a Turkish national.

Psychologists as well as officers specialised in negotiations are on site, said police, adding that they were in contact with the person in the vehicle.

Hamburg Airport authorities said that 286 flights with around 34,500 passengers had been scheduled for Sunday.

A representative for the airport said that 27 flights had been affected so far.

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