• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Hunt continues after Hanover bomb threat

DPA/The Local · 17 Nov 2015, 22:57

Published: 17 Nov 2015 20:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2015 22:57 GMT+01:00

KEY POINTS
• German-Dutch game cancelled over security scare.
• Game cancelled because of ‘large number of tips’ - German interior minister De Maizière.
• Danger for Germany and Europe is high, Interior Minister says.
• Police to remain on duty overnight.
• De Maziere: “We will not change our way of life”.
• Reports of ambulance packed with explosives played down.
• German team was four kilometres from stadium.
• Suspected bombs at the train station have been made safe.
 
A bomb threat caused officials to call off the football match on Tuesday meant to honour victims of the Paris attacks, which was to be attended by Chancellor Angela Merkel and about half her cabinet.

Interior Thomas Minister de Maizière said at a press conference on Tuesday night in regard to the threat that "clues about today's football match became so numerous early this evening" that the federal security authorities and himself decided to cancel the game.

"The danger for Germany and Europe is high, the situation is serious. I've been saying it for a long time, and have repeated it since the Paris attacks," he said, adding that the information had been vetted "thoroughly".

"We were looking forward very much to the game, which would have been a very special gesture from the city, from the sport, and from Germany," the interior minister continued.
 
"That makes such a decision all the more bitter and made our decision all the more difficult. But we put protecting people first."

Despite media reports that an ambulance or vehicle had been found containing explosives, Lower Saxony's interior minister Boris Pistorius could not confirm that any explosives had been found, or that any such vehicle was found near the stadium. 

He and De Maizière also said that no arrests had been made.
 
Federal police told Norddeutsche Rundfunk that a suspected bomb on an InterCity service at the main train station had been made safe, and was in fact only a dummy.
 
 
"We won't change our way of life'
 
De Maiziere said he didn't want Germans to be forced by terrorism to change their way of life, but that this time he had no choice but to cancel the game.
 
"We want to go to the Bundesliga, theatre, Christmas markets, public festivals. But sometimes we have to find a different way to protect people in one-off cases," he added.
 
"It's clear after tonight that in principle, we will continue to hold events like this with care and sometimes a bit of courage."
 
Stadium evacuated

Police announced at 7.20pm that the match in Hanover would not go ahead due to “security reasons” and asked thousands of fans to calmly leave the stadium.

Police told the crowd on megaphones: "Ladies and gentlemen, dear football fans. We're sorry, but the match has been cancelled at short notice. Please stay calm, there is no imminent danger. Just please simply go home."
 
Police also advised people to avoid public transport and were checking cars, leading to lengthy traffic jams bathed in the blue light of flashing police sirens.
 
Hanover’s police chief Volker Kluwe had told Bild earlier in the evening there was a “concrete danger for the whole of Hanover - there was a serious plan to explode something”.

Kluwe had also told broadcaster NDR that the threat was reportedly to be within the stadium.

“The plan was to blow up a bomb in the stadium," Kluwe said. “We received the decisive piece of information 15 minutes after the stadium doors were opened.”

 
Merkel had not yet arrived at the stadium and was reported as safe by officials. The German national team was also reported to be safe as they were four kilometres away from the stadium when the decision was made to cancel the game and they were diverted to a safe location, according to Pistorius.

It was to be Germany’s first match after a national friendly in Paris on Friday when suicide attacks outside the Stade de France left three people dead.

German national team trainers had wanted the match against the Netherlands to go ahead as a mark of respect for the victims of the terrorists attacks in Paris which left 129 people dead.

The DFB had at the weekend already come close to calling off the match, while Belgium cancelled their friendly against Spain on Tuesday.
Story continues below…
 
The German team are still coming to terms with what they experienced last Friday.
 
After the Paris blasts, the Germans spent the night in the Stade de France changing room, as it was considered too dangerous for them to cross Paris.
 
They flew home early the next morning.
 
Suspicious package
 
An hour before the cancellation, police had already cordoned off an area in front of the stadium due to the discovery of a suspicious object, but gave the all clear shortly afterwards.

"Security always comes first,” Hanover mayor Stefan Schostok told the Sports News Service (SID). “It’s a fear one always has and I trust the police to have made the right decision.”

Der Spiegel also reported transit restrictions on the U-Bahn at the request of police.

With AFP

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
This Week in History
75 years since one of Holocaust's worst massacres
Photo: DPA

On Thursday, German president Joachim Gauck spoke in Kiev 75 years after the Nazis slaughtered 33,771 Jews during one of the worst single massacres of the Holocaust.

Six things you need to know about troubled Deutsche Bank

Shares in Deutsche bank plunged on Friday morning, dragging down other European banks and markets worldwide. Here are six things to know about Germany's biggest lender.

Deutsche Bahn jacks up prices for first time in 3 years
Photo: DPA

Germany's main rail provider, the state-owned Deutsche Bahn (DB), announced on Friday that it will raise prices on long-distance train travel.

Baby found alive in suitcase with skeleton in Hanover
File photo: DPA.

A baby has been found alive, along with the skeleton of another infant inside of a suitcase in Hanover, police reported on Friday.

Morocco to speed up repatriation of illegal migrants
Photo: DPA

Morocco has agreed to streamline the procedures for the repatriation of citizens living illegally in Germany, the royal court said late on Thursday.

890,000 refugees arrived in Germany last year - not 1.1m
Photo: DPA

Previous reports had suggested that around 1.1 million people entered Germany to seek asylum last year. But now the German government has confirmed the number was actually lower.

Racist attacks cast cloud over Dresden Unity Day planning
A police vehicle in Dresden. Photo: DPA.

As Dresden prepares to host Germany’s national Unity Day celebrations on Monday, the capital of the eastern state of Saxony is upping security after a mosque was targeted by a homemade bomb.

Sinking Deutsche Bank stock sends shock across Europe
Photo: DPA

Shares in Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank plummeted on the Frankfurt stock market on Friday, dragging other European banks and global markets down with it, after reports some customers were pulling money out.

The Local List
10 things you never knew about German reunification
Reunification celebrations in Hanover in 2014. Photo: DPA

With German Unity Day (October 3rd) happening on Monday, Germans are looking forward to a three-day weekend. But did you know these facts about reunification and German Unity Day?

Munich pharmacy’s nighttime porno show draws crowd
Photo: DPA

When a police patrol in Munich's Sendlinger Tor area noticed a crowd gathered outside a pharmacy window they went to investigate. But the onlookers weren't interested in a new line of flu medicine.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
6,718
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd