Swiss police killed a 32-year-old Iranian asylum seeker who boarded a train armed with an axe and a knife and held 15 hostages for four hours while traveling between Baulmes and Yverdon-les-Bains in the western region of the country.
After rounding up 14 hostages, the man forced the train driver to leave his post and join them with the train stopped with its doors closed at a station.
Police, who were alerted by other passengers on the train, were able to board it at around 10:15 p.m. After sealing off the area to allow negotiators to establish contact via the hostages’ mobile phones, the police attacked at around 10:15 p.m., killing the man while the hostages – some of whom were tied up, all escaped safely, swissinfo.ch reports. A stun grenade was used to distract the attacker – footage of which was uploaded to X.
“As the hostage-taker rushed with his axe in the direction of the intervention group, a police officer used his weapon to protect the hostages, fatally hitting the perpetrator,” said Christophe Sauterel, spokesperson for the Vaud cantonal police, who added that the man died on the spot.
The hostages and their families were supported by emergency support teams and a psychological unit. They were interviewed for the investigation at the end of the evening.
According to initial information, the 32-year-old man is an Iranian asylum seeker assigned to canton Neuchâtel who speaks Farsi and English. A Farsi-speaking interpreter took part in the negotiations.
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. -swissinfo.ch
Over 60 police officers and 30 rescue workers were involved in the incident.