German Authorities Receive Tip-Off About Bomb Threat At Sports Stadium

| by Jordan Smith
Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s federal interior minister, speaking at press conferenceThomas de Maiziere, Germany’s federal interior minister, speaking at press conference

A soccer match between Germany and the Netherlands was called off Nov. 17 after authorities reportedly received a bomb threat for the stadium in Hannover, Germany.

Police ordered fans to be evacuated from the stadium less than two hours before the game was due to begin, Deutsche Welle reported.

“We received a serious indication that a bomb attack was planned inside the stadium tonight,” Hannover chief of police Volker Kluwe told public broadcaster ARD, according to Deutsche Welle.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's office said that she and some of her Cabinet colleagues had been due to attend the match, but were not yet at the stadium when the alarm was raised.

The two teams were escorted away by police. There were no reports of any injuries to spectators during the evacuation.

At a news conference the night of Nov. 17, Lower Saxony’s interior minister Boris Pistorius said there had been no arrests as of yet and corrected reports suggesting that an ambulance containing explosives had been found.

“Contrary to reports, no explosives have been found,” Pistorius said.

Hannover police said that they were searching various locations in the city for suspects.

Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s federal interior minister, said at a press conference that he had decided to cancel the game.

He added that “[i]nformation came from a foreign source,” and that the “Central station [has been] partially closed off as are some public transport stops.”

One train station in Hannover was temporarily closed on the night of Nov. 17 due to the discovery of a suspicious package, CNN reports. However, police soon realized that the bomb was fake.

“Because of the events in Paris, we were particularly sensitive and prepared for everything,” Kluwe said of the incidents, according to CNN. “We have prepared for this kind of scenario. We will have a heavy presence throughout the night and ensure the safety around the city.”

A similar police build-up was ordered at a match between England and France in London Nov. 17, but this was merely precautionary and was not related to any specific threat.

Sources: Deutsche Welle, CNN / Photo credit: Wikicommons, dwnews/Twitter