At least that’s what the authorities say — the official line is that there’s no indication of terrorism. We still don’t have a Mohammed Coefficient, but we now know the attacker is from the Balkans — “the former Yugoslavia”, which nicely elides the question of whether he is a Serb, Croat, Slovene, Macedonian, Montenegrin, Bosnian, or Kosovar. Hmm…
The cellphone video below was taken by an eyewitness. I’m told that the young man who took the footage has the unmistakable accent of a culture-enricher, and may be Middle Eastern.
Many thanks to Egri Nök for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling. WARNING: There are no instances of graphic gore in this video, but you will see large blood-splatters on the platform, so sensitive readers may want to skip it.
Below is an article about the attack from RP Online, also translated by Egri Nök:
Axe-Attack at Düsseldorf Main Train Station
Person on rampage allegedly 36-year-old from Wuppertal
Düsseldorf. A man armed with an axe has injured seven people at the Düsseldorf main train station on Thursday evening. According to information made available to our editorial staff, a 13-year-old girl is among the injured. The alleged attacker was arrested.
By Arne Lieb, Stefani Geilhausen, Klas Libuda, H. Pawlitzki
According to police, it is a 36-year-old man from the former Yugoslavia who lives in Wuppertal. He is said to suffer from mental illness. The man attacked passengers with an axe at Düsseldorf train station around 8.50 PM. Seven were injured, three of them gravely. One of the injured suffered a skull fracture.
Police and firemen were out in force; special forces (SEK) were at the scene, too. The main train station was cordoned off. Police call the act a rampage. There are no clues yet indicating a terrorist background.
The alleged attacker was arrested shortly after the attack in the close vicinity of the train station. He had fled over the tracks out of the train station and jumped from a railway bridge onto the Ellerstraße underpass. In doing so, he was seriously injured and is currently receiving treatment under police supervision.
Initially, the officers could not rule out the possibility of another perpetrator. A police helicopter circled over Düsseldorf. But there were no concrete clues indicating a second perpetrator at any time. Police held several suspicious persons at the train station in temporary custody to screen them. “At the moment, there does not appear to be a second perpetrator,” police spokesman Markus Niesczery said in the late evening.
Mayor Thomas Geisel arrived at the train station to get an overview of the situation and to thank the rescue forces. Police chief Norbert Wesseler also arrived at the train station late in the evening. The train station remained closed until approximately 12:30am (CET). Then all platforms except 13 and 14 were opened again. The forensics had not yet finished there. A cleaning squad came to cleanse the visible traces of the attack from train station.
Eyewitness tells of the consequences of the attack
A young woman who entered a commuter train bound for Mettmann told of a 13-year-old girl’s axe injury. The witness described the gaping wound on her upper arm as if someone had chopped with an axe into a tree. “I tended her wound and called her parents,” the woman reports. Luckily there was a doctor’s kit on the train from which the victim could be provided medical help.
A man in his late 20s was dragged into the train by his friend, apparently unconscious, the witness continues. He was injured in the head, but became responsive again later. Several passengers immediately looked after the man on the train. The train had stopped, everywhere were special forces policemen.
The conductor had closed the train doors, the witness reports. Some passengers demanded to leave the train. But as the doors could not be opened individually, everyone had to stay on board the train. Only when the Federal Police arrived did the conductor open the doors. He said: “You are now safe, the police are standing on the track.” The passengers were not able to leave the train station immediately. They were interrogated by police as witnesses.
Another witness describes the attacker
Tobias Schneeberger (30) from Ratingen was also an eyewitness. He says that around 8:50pm he and his girlfriend and their four children (nine months, two, five, and seven years) were waiting at platform 10 for the S6 to Cologne. At track 13 the S28 to Mettmann arrived. As Schneeberger watched, the perpetrator exited the train and ran up and down the platform with an axe.
He describes the man as between 30 and 40 years old, his appearance reminiscent of a drug addict. People ran away screaming; bags were flying all over the place. The trains sounded their horns without stopping, “to jar the attacker”. The attacker then ran from platform 13 to platform 10. “I concluded this from the movement of the screaming people,” said Schneeberger. He pushed his girlfriend and his children into the elevator by which they were standing. “I placed myself in front of the children, so that they could not see the man”. The elevator took them downstairs and they left the train station.
|00:03||Hey — guys — here is…|
|00:09||We are at the main train station, someone next to us ran amok with an axe|
|00:14||and attacked people, at the Düsseldorf train station.|
|00:19||He just ran along the tracks, in this direction.|
|00:26||… out of the train station …|
|00:41||You couldn’t do anything, I swear by my mother, I was next to it live.|
|00:45||Neither I nor anyone could do anything.|
|00:48||The dude just came with an axe and battered people.|
|00:53||I’ve seen a lot, but nothing like that. Right next to me,|
|00:57||he started battering people with an axe.|
|01:01||The Düsseldorf train station is full of police.|
|01:16||Is there a doctor here, is there a doctor here?|
|01:28||Please let him shut off here. Terrible. —Let him shut off. Please move on.|
|01:31||I swear by my mother I’m shocked. —What happened? Terrible.|
|01:34||—Let him shut off. Terrible. —Let him shut off.|
|01:38||Brother, someone attacked people with an axe. —And now he is?|
|01:42||I swear by my mother, I have never seen anything like that, brother.|
|01:45||We were standing at track 14, waiting for the train,|
|01:49||suddenly he came out of the train, I think, and began attacking people with an axe.|
|01:54||Just like that, out of nowhere, two meters away from us;|
|01:57||no one could help, it was impossible, we stood and yelled.|