Police report that a man went onto the S-Bahn train line 28 on Thursday at around 8.50pm and started to attack other passengers. At the train station, he also attacked passersby, and in total injured five people, including one seriously.
A further two people have been arrested and police are checking whether they were connected to the attack. They were detained for “acting suspiciously” but it remains unclear whether they have any connection to the crime, DPA reports.
“People travelling were injured by the assailants' axe,” the police said.
Police could not give further details about the motive of the attack or the man arrested, but said he was himself seriously injured as he tried to flee and jumped from a bridge onto a street. The man was taken to hospital and was not initially responsive.
Various newspapers, including the Rheinische Post, have spoken to witnesses who have described disturbing scenes of people lying unconscious on the train floor and of blood covering the ground.
According to Spiegel, witnesses saw someone start attacking people with an axe. He then fled, but was arrested by police.
Großeinsatz in Düsseldorf: Düsseldorfer Hauptbahnhof nach Axt-Angriff evakuiert https://t.co/zc2k50Ir3h
— RP Online Düsseldorf (@rpo_duesseldorf) March 9, 2017
The station was evacuated and train service was halted – trains were either cancelled or transferred elsewhere. Special police officers were deployed to the site. Witnesses described injured victims being carried away with numerous ambulances at the scene.
Federal police tweeted shortly after 11pm Thursday that they could not say when train services would resume, warning people that the operation was ongoing.
— Bundespolizei NRW (@bpol_nrw) March 9, 2017
Angela Merkel's Chief of Staff Peter Altmaier tweeted on Thursday evening “whatever has happened in Düsseldorf train station – our sympathies are with the innocent who have been injured.”
Was immer am Düsseldorfer Hauptbahnhof geschehen ist: Unser Mitgefühl und unsere Gedanken sind bei den unschuldig Verletzten.
— Peter Altmaier (@peteraltmaier) March 9, 2017