Date
21 September 2017
German police cordon off an area after explosions rocked Borussia Dortmund team bus before a game on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters
German police cordon off an area after explosions rocked Borussia Dortmund team bus before a game on Tuesday. Photo: Reuters

Player injured in explosions at German football team bus

Three explosions hit a German football team bus just ahead of a major game in the city of Dortmund on Tuesday, seriously injuring one player.

Officials said three bombs hidden in a hedge went off as a Borussia Dortmund team bus pulled out of a hotel to carry the players to a stadium for a Champions League game against AS Monaco, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Marc Bartra, a Spanish defender on the team’s roster, suffered injuries to his arms as a result of the blast that shattered the bus windows.

As the police combed the crime scene Tuesday night, they found a letter claiming responsibility for the attack, Dortmund prosecutor Sandra Lücke said.

She declined to provide more details about the letter or to comment about possible motives, the Journal said.

“We must assume that this was a targeted attack on the BVB team,” Dortmund Police Chief Gregor Lange said, using Borussia Dortmund’s acronym.

Following the incident, Borussia Dortmund’s scheduled quarterfinal game against AS Monaco in the UEFA Champions League was postponed to Wednesday.

A police spokesman said later in the evening that while authorities were still analyzing what exactly caused the blasts, their initial analysis showed it was a “serious attack” that could have cost lives.

Dortmund is one of the most successful clubs in the country and was playing at its home, the 80,000-capacity Signal Iduna Park, the largest stadium in Germany.

At the time the blast went off, fans were already flooding into the stands until several announcements over the loudspeaker apprised them of the situation.

Dortmund authorities said they wouldn’t speculate on whether terrorism or another motive was behind the attack. 

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said he was “deeply disturbed” by the explosions.

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RC

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