The 18-hour drama began after a man drove through the airport gates with his four-year-old daughter in his car.

Police in the German city of Hamburg have arrested a man and rescued a child amid an airport hostage crisis, ending an 18-hour crisis that forced authorities to close the busy air hub.

A man who police said Sunday was suspected of carrying a weapon and possibly explosives drove a vehicle through the airport gates Saturday night, officials said.

According to police, the 35-year-old man was with his four-year-old daughter and was probably involved in a custody dispute.

“The hostage situation is over,” the city’s police wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“The suspect got out of the car with his daughter. The man was arrested by the emergency services without resistance. The child appears to be unharmed.”

The apparent family drama began on Saturday in Stade, Lower Saxony, where the man’s wife was staying. The woman had contacted state police about a possible kidnapping.

The Hamburg police wrote on X that they were “assuming a custody dispute was the background to the operation.”

The 35-year-old man held the girl hostage in the car because she could be heard in the background during negotiations, which were conducted in Turkish, a police spokeswoman told the dpa news agency.

The man broke through the airport gate at around 8pm (7pm GMT) on Saturday, shot into the air and threw incendiary devices from the car. His car then sat next to a Turkish Airlines plane for more than 18 hours.

The police tried for hours to end the hostage-taking without bloodshed – they finally succeeded early on Sunday afternoon.

For the Hamburg police, it was “one of the longest and most demanding operations in recent history,” said Andy Grote, Interior Senator for Hamburg, who thanked the police for ending the standoff.

“I wish the mother, the child and their family a lot of strength to come to terms with this terrible experience,” wrote Hamburg Mayor Peter Tschentscher on X.

Hamburg Airport said it was working on resuming operations as quickly as possible. A total of 286 flights with around 34,500 passengers were planned for Sunday, the authorities previously announced.

The incident sparked concerns about security at the airport, less than four months after climate activists walked onto the runway and blocked planes.

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