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Germany: Hatchet-wielding woman blocks train

  • April 23, 2023

Police in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg responded to an emergency call Saturday when a 25-year-old German woman began threatening passengers in a train bound for Stuttgart while it was at the Wilferdingen station between Karlsruhe and Pforzheim.

What do we know about the incident?

The woman reportedly blocked the doorway, thus keeping the train from departing. When passengers told her to move away from the door so it would close, she pulled a large multi-tool with an integrated 18 centimeter (7 inch) hatchet out of her backpack.  

A police report states that another passenger, a 25-year-old Swiss man, was able to disarm the woman before she could harm anyone. He also detained her until police arrived. He sustained a minor injury but needed no further medical attention.

It is unclear why the woman was blocking the door and why she attempted to draw a weapon.

Several local and state police officers as well as emergency services workers were at the scene.

The woman was taken to a local hospital for exams after the incident and will be taken to a psychiatric facility for evaluation after that.

Investigation ongoing

Federal police in nearby Karlsruhe said they are investing the crime and may charge her with grievous bodily harm.

“Thanks to the civil courage shown by a travel group, something potentially far worse was hindered here today and a 25-year-old woman will now be receiving the professional help she needs. For that we offer our express thanks,” said the head of Karlsruhe’s police inspectorate.

In January, two people were killed and several injured when an attacker stabbed them on a train in northern Hamburg. On Tuesday, an unknown assailant injured four individuals after stabbing them at a gym in the western industrial city of Duisburg.

AFP news agency contributed to this report

Edited by: Wesley Dockery

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