Teens arrested for laser pointer attack on plane in Hamburg

Teens arrested for laser pointer attack on plane in Hamburg
Photo: DPA
Two teenagers have been nabbed for attempting to blind pilots landing at the Hamburg Airport with a laser pointer this week after being hunted down by a police helicopter.

Just after 10 pm on Tuesday, the pilots of the passenger plane reported the dangerous incident, which endangered hundreds of people on board, daily Die Welt reported on Wednesday.

The pilots told police they believed the laser had come from the central Horn neighbourhood, sparking massive search with several officers and a helicopter. Meanwhile airport traffic control rerouted incoming planes to fly around the Horn area.

“The police helicopter filmed a light beam,” police chief Holger Vehren told the paper, adding that this helped localise its origin.

As the chopper approached the building, a children’s home, the two teenage boys, identified as Philip P. (19) and Kevin H. (17), tried blinding the police pilot too. Though they tried to hide, police found them with an infrared camera.

“Both were arrested as they tried to leave the house,” Vehren said.

The older boy Philip P. is well-known to police for theft, assault, vandalism and other charges.

Both were released after their arrest and face charges for dangerous interference with air traffic, the paper said.

Last year the DFS air traffic authority reported a surge in dangerous laser pointer attacks during night landings. Pilots say that the sudden flash of light when their pupils are dilated is blinding and often forces then to abort landing operations.

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