Police Storm Train After Man Takes 16 People Hostage

Axe-wielding Iranian man was shot dead during incident in Switzerland
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 9, 2024 7:03 AM CST
Police Kill Hostage-Taker on Swiss Train
Vaud cantonal police officers watch the Travys train where a hostage-taking incident took place at Essert-sous-Champvent station, Switzerland, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024.   (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP)

Swiss police say a 32-year-old Iranian asylum-seeker was killed by police after he used an axe and a knife to seize more than a dozen hostages for several hours on a train in western Switzerland. No passengers were injured. The man took the hostages early Thursday evening and police, alerted by passengers, sealed off the area while the train was stopped in the town of Essert-sous-Champvert, police in the French-speaking Vaud region said Friday. The man, speaking Farsi and English, demanded that the train engineer join the 15 hostages, the AP reports.

Nearly four hours after the incident began, police stormed the train after trying to negotiate with the man through an interpreter. More than 60 officers were involved. Police used stun grenades after they saw the man move away from the passengers, the BBC reports. "The hostages were all freed safe and sound," a police statement said. "The hostage-taker was mortally injured during the operation." Vincent Derouand, a spokesperson for the Vaud prosecutors' office, said an investigation to determine the man's motive is underway.

(More Switzerland stories.)

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