Hostage drama at Hamburg airport is over, gunman arrested and girl (4) safe

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The incident began about 18 hours earlier when a man drove through the airport gates with his young daughter in his vehicle

A hostage situation that paralyzed Hamburg airport ended on Sunday afternoon (Jonas Walzberg/dpa/AP)

By Kirsten Griesharber, Associated Press

The hostage crisis that led to the closure of Hamburg airport has ended, a man has been arrested and his four-year-old daughter is safe, German police said Sunday afternoon.

The incident began about 18 hours earlier when a man drove through the airport gates with his young daughter in his vehicle, authorities said.

The Hamburg police tweeted: “The hostage-taking is over. The suspect exited the car with his daughter…The child appears to be uninjured.”

Police also said that “the man was arrested by emergency services without resistance.”

Armed police officers are preparing for an operation at Hamburg airport where a man is reportedly holding his four-year-old daughter hostage (Bodo Marks/dpa/AP)

Police spokeswoman Sandra Levgruen said officers were checking whether the suspect “still had explosive devices on him or with him or whether they were still in the car,” dpa reported.

“We currently believe he is unarmed, but he is still lying on the ground in police custody,” she said.

According to dpa, the airport in the northern German city had been closed to passengers and flights canceled since Saturday evening when the armed man broke through a gate in his vehicle and fired a weapon twice into the air.

The man drove the vehicle directly in front of a terminal building and parked it under a plane.

Authorities said the man’s wife had previously contacted them about a child abduction.

Police said the 35-year-old man had his daughter in the car after he reportedly forcibly removed her from her mother in a custody dispute.

Police vehicles block access to Hamburg Airport (Bodo Marks/dpa/AP)

A psychologist negotiated with the man for 18 hours.

No one was injured in the altercation as all passengers were evacuated from the airport, police said.

The mother of the kidnapped girl arrived at the airport on Sunday morning and received psychological care, the dpa reported.

According to the news agency, a pediatrician also arrived to look after the girl after she was taken hostage.

More than 100 flights were canceled and several aircraft were diverted.

Thousands of travelers were affected by the incident and hundreds were accommodated in nearby hotels.

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