Dortmund team bus hit by explosions

Dortmund team bus hit by explosions
April 11 22:26 2017

Three explosions have hit a bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund football team to their home Champions League quarter-final match against Monaco.

Spain international Marc Bartra was taken to hospital with an injury to his hand, the club said. No other players were hurt.

The first indications were that this was an “attack with serious explosives”, Dortmund police said.

The match was postponed until 18:45 local time (16:45 GMT) on Wednesday.

Pictures from the scene showed the bus’s windows broken and tyres burst in the blasts.

Police said that “three explosive charges had detonated” at Hoechsten outside the city at about 19:00 local time.

Fans at the 80,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park were told to stay there until it was safe to leave.

The stadium was later evacuated safely and police thanked the fans for their co-operation.

Monaco fans were praised for their chants of support for Dortmund. Social media also carried offers from Dortmund residents to Monaco fans in need of a bed for the night on #bedforawayfans.

‘State of shock’

Borussia Dortmund said in a statement: “Shortly after the departure of the Borussia Dortmund team bus from the hotel to the stadium there was an incident. The bus has been damaged in two places.”

The Dortmund Twitter page confirmed that Bartra, a 26-year-old defender, was the player hurt, and wished him a speedy recovery.

Spain’s La Marca later said Bartra had been discharged and was back at home.

Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said: “There has been an attack with explosives on the team bus.

Media captionA journalist for German news publisher Bild Online tells the BBC of shock in the stadium

“The whole team is in a state of shock, you can’t get pictures like that out of your head.”

He added: “I hope the team will be in a position to be able to compete tomorrow on the pitch. In a crisis situation like this, Borussia pulls together.”

One of the Dortmund players, Mathias Ginter, was involved in the Germany-France match that was targeted in the terror attacks in Paris on 13 November, 2015. Another present in Paris, Andre Schurrle, was injured for the Monaco match.

Star striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) leaves the bus with teammates after the blasts

FC Barcelona, Bartra’s former club, tweeted: “All of our support to @MarcBartra, @BVB and their fans.”

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also tweeted his support, wishing Bartra a quick recovery.

Dortmund are currently fourth in the German Bundesliga table.

[BBC]