Home » Hostage-taking on a train near Yverdon: passengers released, assailant killed during the assault – rts.ch

Hostage-taking on a train near Yverdon: passengers released, assailant killed during the assault – rts.ch

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Hostage-taking on a train near Yverdon: passengers released, assailant killed during the assault – rts.ch

A man armed with an ax and a knife took fourteen passengers and the pilot of a regional train to Yverdon hostage on Thursday evening for almost four hours. The police attacked around 10:15 p.m., allowing the release of all the hostages. The attacker, believed to be a 32-year-old Iranian asylum seeker, was killed during the intervention. The terrorist trail is not favored.

The hostage-taking began around 6:35 p.m., detailed the Vaud police during a press briefing during the night from Thursday to Friday. The assailant, armed with an ax and a knife, forced the pilot to leave his post to join the fourteen passengers present in this Travys train, immobilized with its doors closed at the Essert-sous-Champvent station, between Baulmes and Yverdon-les-Bains.

The police were alerted directly by the people stuck in the train. They sealed off the perimeter to allow negotiation specialists to establish contact with the hostage-taker, in particular via messaging on the hostages’ cell phones. Some of them were tied up, according to police.

“As part of the system, we prioritize the safety of the hostages. Everything is done to try to convince the perpetrator to surrender,” cantonal police spokesperson Jean-Christophe Sauterel explained in La Matinale on Friday.

It indicates that, if an opportunity arises to intervene while guaranteeing the safety of the hostages, the person in charge of operations can choose to attack.

>> Listen to the explanations of Jean-Christophe Sauterel in La Matinale: Return to the hostage taking which took place between Yverdon and Ste-Croix: interview with Jean-Christophe Sauterel / La Matinale / 7 min. / today at 07:19

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Diversionary explosives

The intervention forces finally carried out their actions around 10:15 p.m., at “a time when the man was separated from his hostages”, detailed Jean-Christophe Sauterel just after the events. Diversionary explosives were notably used to divert the attacker’s attention.

>> See the images of the intervention taken by @El_chicho351 (via Instagram): Hostage taking on a train between Yverdon and Sainte-Croix / News on video / 11 sec. / yesterday at 11:33 p.m.

“As the hostage-taker rushed with his ax in the direction of the intervention group, a police officer used his weapon to protect the hostages, fatally hitting the perpetrator,” explained Jean-Christophe Sauterel. The man died on the spot, despite the presence of a doctor among the police intervention team. The principle of self-defense shooting is put forward by the police.

The hostages safe and sound

All the people on the train were able to be released safely. They were taken care of on site by a health system before being transported by bus to the Mobile Gendarmerie Center in Yverdon.

The hostages and their families were supported by emergency support teams and a psychological unit. They were interviewed at the end of the evening for the purposes of the investigation.

>> Images of the surroundings shortly after the intervention:

Hostage-taking on a train near Yverdon

The attacker would be an Iranian applicant

According to initial information, the man, aged 32, is an Iranian asylum seeker speaking in Farsi and English. A Farsi-speaking interpreter had to be hired for the negotiations. Further research is underway and should make it possible to precisely identify the author.

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The Vaud Public Prosecutor’s Office has opened a criminal investigation. “The man’s motivations have not been established, nor his psychological state,” said Attorney General Eric Kaltenrieder. It is also unclear where the hostage taker got on the train.

“For the moment, there are no elements that point us towards a terrorist or extremist act,” notes Jean-Christophe Sauterel in La Matinale. “No element points us towards a terrorist act. Neither terrorist nor jihadist,” then clarified the spokesperson for the Vaud cantonal police.

Another investigation will concern the police. She must shed light on the circumstances of her intervention and the death of the hostage taker, specifies Eric Kaltenrieder in La Matinale on Friday.

More than 60 police officers and around thirty rescuers were involved in this operation.

>> Listen to the explanations of the Attorney General Eric Kaltenrieder in La Matinale: Taking of hostages on a train in the Yverdon region: the explanations of the Attorney General Eric Kaltenrieder / La Matinale / 1 min. / today at 06:19

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