- Gunman drove through a barrier at Hamburg airport at around 8pm local time
Hamburg airport has been closed over a ‘hostage situation’ after a gunman rammed a vehicle through a security gate with a four-year-old child inside before shooting a weapon in the air.
The armed man ploughed through an airport barrier at around 8pm local time (7pm GMT) and fired a weapon twice, federal 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.
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.
Special forces, fire crews and officers all descended on the scene as a major police operation is underway.
A spokesperson for the airport said 27 flights had been affected.