News by VICE

"Serious explosives" rock bus carrying German soccer team

by Carter Sherman
Apr 11 2017, 8:17pm

A series of bombs detonated near the bus of a prominent German soccer team Tuesday, injuring a player and forcing the team to postpone a crucial playoff match, though the attackers and their motives remain unclear.

The bus carrying members of the Borussia Dortmand soccer club was pulling out of a hotel in the German city of Dortmund when three bombs hidden in a nearby bush went off, Hans-Joachim Watzke, the club’s executive officer, told the Wall Street Journal. The bus’s windows shattered, injuring player Marc Bartra.

“The whole team is in a state of shock,” Watzke told the BBC. “You can’t get pictures like that out of your head.”

Authorities are currently investigating a letter found near the scene, a state prosecutor said in a news conference. It’s still unclear if the bombs, which Dortmund police characterized as “serious explosives,” were related to terrorism.

Nearby countries like France, Belgium, Britain, and Sweden have all been the victim of recent terrorism-related attacks; Germany was also targeted in December, when a truck plowed into a Berlin Christmas market and killed 12. One of the Borussia Dortmund players was also at the Paris match between Germany and France that took place during the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks, according to the BBC.

The Dortmund explosions took place just six miles away from a stadium where they were slated to play AS Monaco in the famed UEFA Champions League tournament. The stadium was reportedly evacuated safely.

The game was rescheduled to Wednesday, so the team took to social media Tuesday to ask Dortmund residents to give the Monaco fans far from home beds for the night.