‘European’ man rams car through gate at Hannover airport, prompting tarmac chase & lockdown
Hannover Airport, one of Germany’s biggest air hubs, was put on lockdown for hours after a man, apparently on drugs, rammed his car through a gate and drove on the tarmac runway area, before being stopped and detained by police.
“A man broke through a gate and drove to the tarmac. Police officers managed to stop the vehicle and overpower the man,” Hannover police wrote on their Twitter page after the Saturday chase.
The trespasser was only stopped after he managed to drive “several hundred meters” onto the tarmac, local media report. At one point he attempted to follow a plane of the Greek Aegean Airlines, which had just landed at that time.
The detained suspect’s car was registered in Poland, the German NDR broadcaster reported. However, the suspect, in his 20s, denied being a Pole and instead identified himself as a “European.”
Police have later confirmed reports that the man tested positive for drugs, saying he’d taken an amphetamine and cocaine before the incident.
Hannover Airport (HAJ) has currently halted operations. Arriving flights are diverting, departures have been suspended after a car driver reportedly tried to enter the apron. According to Eurocontrol, the airport remains closed until 20:00 UTC. https://t.co/6lUsqGNjLTpic.twitter.com/nHfbIl9sLt— International Flight Network (@FlightIntl) December 29, 2018
A bomb disposal squad searched the suspect’s BMW and found “no dangerous objects.” Earlier, police sources said a terrorist motive could be “basically ruled out.”
The airport resumed check-in procedures around 20:05 local time (19:05 GMT). Soon the flights were resumed. The lockdown at the ninth busiest airport in Germany lasted some four hours.
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