A hostage situation that shut down Hamburg airport is over, with a man arrested and his four-year-old daughter safe, German police said on Sunday afternoon.
The incident began about 18 hours earlier when a man drove his vehicle through the gates of the airport with his young daughter inside, authorities said.
Hamburg police tweeted: “The hostage situation is over. The suspect has left the car with his daughter … The child appears to be unharmed.”
Police also said “the man was arrested by the emergency services without resistance”.
Police spokeswoman Sandra Levgruen said officers are checking whether the suspect “still has any explosive devices on him or with him or whether they are still in the car”, German news agency dpa reported.
“We are currently assuming that he is unarmed, but he is still lying on the ground in the care of the police,” she said.
The airport in the northern German city had been closed to passengers and flights cancelled since Saturday night when the man, who was armed, broke through a gate with his vehicle and fired twice into the air with a weapon, according to dpa.
The man drove the vehicle just outside 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 inside the car, after reportedly taking her from her mother by force in a custody battle.
A psychologist had been negotiating with the man for 18 hours.
Nobody was injured during the stand-off because the airport had been evacuated of all passengers, police said.
The mother of the abducted girl arrived at the airport on Sunday morning and had been receiving psychological support, dpa reported.
A paediatrician also arrived to look after the girl once the hostage-taking was over, the news agency said.
More than 100 flights were cancelled and several planes were re-routed.
Flights resumed on Sunday night, almost 24 hours after the hostage situation began.
Thousands of travellers were affected by the incident and hundreds were put up at hotels nearby.
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