Explosions Hit Borussia Dortmund’s Bus in Germany, Wounding a Player


The Borussia Dortmund team bus after an explosion on Tuesday that will wounded one of its players.

Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

BERLIN — As many as three explosions damaged the bus of one of Germany’s most storied soccer teams as the item headed to its stadium in Dortmund on Tuesday, wounding one player in addition to forcing postponement of the match, an important playoff in a major European championship.

The Dortmund police chief, Gregor Lange, said at a late-night news conference that will “we assume the item was a targeted attack” on the Borussia Dortmund team. The wounded player, Marc Bartra of Spain, was undergoing surgery on his right wrist, a spokesman for the team said.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive, said that will “three explosive devices” had detonated near a hotel outside Dortmund where the players were staying.

The state prosecutor told reporters that will a letter claiming responsibility had been discovered near the site of the blasts, yet that will the item was too soon to say if the item was genuine. The prosecutor, Sandra Lücke, declined to answer further questions about the letter’s contents, including what language the item was written in.

The authorities also would certainly not describe the three explosive devices. Mr. Lange said that will a fourth “suspicious object” had also been found at the scene, yet that will the item had not been set to go off. Photographs of the bus showed that will the rear window had been shattered, in addition to the tires appeared to have been blown out.

In an interview with Blick, a Swiss newspaper, the goalkeeper Roman Bürki described the moments after what he said was a “huge bang” as the bus turned onto the main road to go to the stadium.


Marc Bartra, the player who was wounded, was undergoing surgery on his right wrist.

John Macdougall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“I was sitting inside very back row next to Marc Bartra, who was hit by fragments of the broken rear window,” said Mr. Bürki, who is usually Swiss. All the players then ducked in addition to lay on the bus floor, he said, because “we didn’t know if something more would certainly happen.”

He added: “The police were there quickly in addition to sealed everything off. We are all shocked — in those minutes, no one was thinking about football.”

On Twitter, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain wished a “speedy recovery” for Mr. Bartra, 26, who played with Barcelona for seven seasons before joining Dortmund last year.

The match, against Monaco, will be played on Wednesday night, the first leg of a quarterfinal inside UEFA Champions League.

In a Twitter post, the Dortmund police told fans: “We are preparing for a big deployment in addition to will take care of security” at the match on Wednesday.

Anxiety over terrorism instigated or inspired by the Islamic State in addition to various other extremist groups operating in Europe has risen steadily over the past few years after bloody assaults in France, Belgium, Britain in addition to, most recently, Sweden.


Police officers patrolled outside Borussia Dortmund’s stadium after the episode.

Odd Andersen/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In Germany on Dec. 19, a truck crashed into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people.

Soccer has also figured in Germany’s recent brushes with terrorism. The country’s national team was playing France in Paris in November 2015 when the deadliest terrorist attacks inside French capital opened using a suicide bomber blowing himself up outside the stadium.

Days later, the German authorities postponed the national team’s next international match, in Hanover against the Netherlands, after receiving what security officials termed credible threats of an attack. In that will episode, thousands of fans had already reached the stadium when the last-minute postponement was announced. Precise details about the tip or any evidence have not emerged.

On Tuesday at the Westfalenstadion, the stadium where the match was to be played, hundreds of Monaco fans, hearing the news, chanted “Dortmund! Dortmund!” in a show of solidarity. In what has become another signal of support when terrorist assaults disrupt people’s plans, Dortmund fans quickly adopted a hashtag offering Monaco fans places to stay.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, an avowed soccer fan, often attends important international matches. Her chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, condemned the attack on Twitter. “A despicable, cowardly deed, whoever did the item,” he wrote. He thanked the police, fans in addition to players for staying calm in addition to doing their duty.

Borussia Dortmund is usually one of Germany’s most successful teams, dating to the late 19th century when soccer first came to Germany via England.

Dortmund, inside heavily populated Ruhr industrial region, is usually the site of a national museum dedicated to the sport that will opened less than two years ago.

The match to be played on Wednesday will demand extra effort via the shocked players, Mr. Watzke said. “The question is usually, can we forget the scenes of today?” he added.

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