Germany: Drugged auto driver tries to follow plane at airport

Germany: Drugged auto driver tries to follow plane at airport

Flights were suspended at Hannover airport in central Germany on Saturday after a man drove a vehicle through a gate and onto the apron where planes park and are loaded, authorities said.

Arriving flights are now diverting to nearby airports (such as Hamburg or Bremen), while departures have been suspended until further notice. The auto was reportedly registered in Poland and police said no risky items were found inside it.

Bomb disposal experts were sent in to examine the auto and no unsafe objects were found.

Police said a man broke through a barrier in a auto which went onto the runway.

No one was hurt in the incident, but flights were suspended for more than four hours.

They think he acted alone.

The authorities did not give further details of the reasons for this incident, but the police do not rule out the driver being in a "confused" state and may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He apparently has no official residence in Germany.

They said earlier that the man drove onto the apron area at about 3.40pm local time.

Police opened an investigation on suspicion of unsafe interference in air traffic and resisting officers, and were considering whether to have the man taken before a judge Sunday to try to have him kept in custody.

Part of terminal A was closed but the two other terminals were open, police told German news agency DPA. His motive remained unclear.

The global airport in Hannover handles 5.87 million passengers previous year, though it isn't one of Germany's top hubs.

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