Updated February 9th, 2024 at 09:48 IST
Swiss Train Horror: Axe-Wielding Asylum Seeker Holds 15 Hostages, Gets Killed in Shootout
Negotiations with the hostage-taker occurred partially through WhatsApp, facilitated by a translator fluent in Farsi, reports stated.
New Delhi: An unexpected tension unfolded on Thursday night at the Essert-Sous-Champvent village in western Switzerland when a as a 32-year-old Iranian asylum seeker commandeered a train, turning it into a hostage situation that lasted nearly four hours. The ordeal, which started around 6:35 PM and ended at 10:30 PM local time, involved 15 hostages, including 14 passengers and the train conductor.
Reportedly, the hostage-taker, armed with an axe and a knife, spoke Farsi and English, according to Vaud canton police spokesman Jean-Christophe Sauterel. The motives behind the incident were initially unknown as investigations were underway to confirm the suspect's identity.
Negotiations with the hostage-taker occurred partially through WhatsApp, facilitated by a translator fluent in Farsi, reports stated. The suspect, who had forced the conductor to join the passengers, was ultimately shot dead by a police officer when he allegedly rushed at them with the axe.
Authorities decided to storm the train, executing a manoeuvre to keep the suspect away from the hostages. The incident was a rare occurrence in Switzerland, where hostage situations are infrequent but not unheard of.
In another incident, in January 2022, criminals reportedly attempted to access vaults holding precious metals by taking a couple and two employees hostage, though they fled without the loot. In November 2021, assailants reportedly took the director of a watch company and his family hostage, stealing gold before escaping to neighboring France. The recent train hostage situation underscores the unpredictability of such incidents even in typically peaceful regions.
Published February 9th, 2024 at 09:48 IST