Europe

Germany ax attack at train station leaves seven injured, suspect arrested

Kitty Logan reports

 

A mentally disturbed man attacked travelers with an ax at the central train station in the west German city of Dusseldorf Thursday, injuring seven people before he was captured.

Police said three of the seven victims had serious injuries. German media reports indicated that none of the injuries were life-threatening.

The suspected attacker was arrested after jumping off an overpass near the train station, the statement said. The 36-year-old man, described as being from "the former Yugoslavia" and living in the nearby city of Wuppertal, suffered serious injuries and was being treated in a hospital.

"The suspect appears to have had psychological problems," police said.

An ax was recovered and officers were searching the area in and around the station, which was closed for the investigation. Police withdrew an earlier report that a second person had been arrested, saying later that they were working on the assumption the man had acted alone.

A motive for the attack was not immediately known.

"We are not using the words 'rampage' or 'terror,'" a federal police spokesman said.

The attack shortly before 9 p.m. local time (3 p.m. ET) spurred a large-scale police response in the center of Germany's ninth-largest city. 

"We were standing on the track, waiting for the train," a station attendant told the German newspaper Bild. "The train came, and suddenly someone jumped out with an ax [and] hit the people. There was blood everywhere. I have experienced a lot, but I have never experienced [anything like] it."

Ax attacks are not unheard of in Germany. Last July, a 17-year-old Afghan refugee injured five people on a regional train in the central town of Wurzburg before he was killed by police. The refugee later claimed in a video to be acting on behalf of ISIS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This story first appeared in The Sun.