Borussia Dortmund bus bombs: Letter found nearby 'takes responsibility' as Monaco game postponed and Marc Bartra wounded

Barney Henderson

Borussia Dortmund's team bus was hit by three explosions while on its way to the Champions League semi-final against Monaco on Tuesday evening, leaving one player injured in hospital.

German security sources said it was a targeted attack on the team bus, shattering one of the vehicle's windows. Police said "serious explosive devices" were used.

A letter found near the site of the attack "takes responsibility for the act", a German prosecutor said.

The devices were hidden in a hedge on the route to a Champions League game

There were reports the devices, which were concealed in a hedge, could have detonated by a mobile phone or a garage door-opening device.

High levels of security were in place across the city on Tuesday night and there will be a large security force presence at Wednesday night's game, police said, adding they did not not want to jump to conclusions that the attack was terror-related.

A supporter of Borussia Dortmund reacts at the stadium in Dortmund Credit: EPA

Germany is on high terror alert following a spate of recent attacks, several of which have been claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terror group.

Anxious Dortmund fans in the stadium before last night's postponed game against Monaco Credit: Getty

Spanish international, Marc Bartra, was undergoing an operation for a broken hand, a club spokesman said.

"The bus turned on to the main road, when there was a huge noise - a big explosion," Dortmund's Swiss goalkeeper Roman Burki said.

"After the bang, we all crouched down in the bus. Anyone who could, threw himself on the floor.

"We did not know if more would come."

Burki said Bartra was "hit by splinters of broken glass".

Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra was injured Credit: AP

The game was postponed until Wednesday evening, with Borussia Dortmund fans offering Monaco supporters accommodation in the city so they can watch the match. Monaco fans had chanted in solidarity with their Dortmund rivals.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, Dortmund chief executive, said: "The whole team is in a state of shock, you can't get pictures like that out of your head.

"I hope the team will be in a position to be able to compete tomorrow on the pitch.

Forensics officers examines the crime scene in Dortmund Credit: EPA

"In a crisis situation like this, Borussia pulls together."

Lukasz Piszczek, a defender for Dortmund, said: "As we were driving alongside a number of cars, a bomb went off at the side of the road. Bartra has a cast on his arm. He's in the hospital."

The incident sparked memories of the suicide bomb attack at the Stade de France during the Paris attacks of November 2015.

2:58AM

'The thoughts of every one of us at Fifa are with the people of Dortmund'

“The thoughts of every one of us at FIFA are with the people of Dortmund, and the fans of both Borussia Dortmund and Monaco following today’s troubling events," Gianni Infantino, Fifa's president, said in a statement.

"We are closely monitoring the condition of BVB’s Marc Bartra, and wish him a speedy recovery from his injuries.

"FIFA condemn the incidents in Dortmund. We are all awaiting further details of the incident."

10:49PM

High security levels 'due to risk of terror attack'

German police have said there are high levels of security in place due to the risk of a terror attack - but that they do not want to jump to conclusions and say the Dortmund explosions was a terror attack.

10:40PM

Letter found near attack site 'takes responsibility for the act'

A German prosecutor has said the letter found near the Dortmund team bus "takes responsibility for the act".

10:32PM

Bartra being operated on for broken hand

The club's centre-back is undergoing an operation for a broken hand, Dortmund's spokesman has said.

10:31PM

Letter found near Dortmund bus blast

A police press conference is underway. The German state prosecutor has said a letter was found near the site of the blasts and is being examined.

10:02PM

'No evidence of terrorist connection'

Police have so far found no evidence of a terrorist connection, the German Press Agency (DPA) is reporting.

10:01PM

'We are all with Borussia Dortmund'

Angela Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, has tweeted: "Tonight we are all with Borussia Dortmund":

 

9:16PM

Footage from the Monaco fans chanting in solidarity with Borussia Dortmund

 

9:05PM

'Serious explosive devices' used in attack

German police have said they working on the assumption "serious explosive devices" were used in the attack on the Dortmund team bus.

8:54PM

'Targeted attack on the Dortmund team bus'

Spiegel magazine is reporting that German security sources believe it was a targeted attack on the team bus, writes Justin Huggler in Berlin.

The explosives were probably hidden in a hedge by the side of the road. 

Bartra's injuries are not thought to be serious.

Lukasz Piszczek, a defender for Borussia Dortmund, told Poland's Przeglad Sportowy newspaper: "As we were driving alongside a number of cars, a bonb went off at the side of the road. Bartra has a cast on his arm. He's in the hospital."

8:33PM

Dortmund making efforts to help Monaco fans make it to the game tomorrow.

 

8:07PM

The damaged team bus

The Borussia Dortmund team bus is seen after an explosion near their hotel before the game Credit: Reuters

Players after the incident:

Head coach Thomas Tuchel, right, and players of Borussia Dortmund stand outside their team bus after it was damaged in an explosion before the Champions League quarterfinal Credit: AP

 

8:02PM

'The whole team is in shock'

Hans-Joachim Watzke, the Borussia Dortmund CEO, has said: "The whole team is in a shock. You will not get those pictures out of your head. I hope that the team is able to compete on the field." 

 

7:58PM

The stadium announcement

The scoreboard announces the postponment of the game prior to the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco at Signal Iduna Park Credit: Getty

 

7:53PM

Police secure Borussia Dortmund hotel

Police near the Borussia Dortmund team hotel after the explosion  Credit: Reuters

 

7:48PM

Who is Marc Bartra, the player injured in the team bus explosion?

Bartra, 26, joined the German club last summer from Barcelona, where the Catalan had graduated from the famed La Masia academy.

The centre-back has represented Spain 13 times since his international breakthrough in 2013, and has also played five non-competitive matches for Catalonia.

Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra (L) and Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski vie for the ball during the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Munich v BVB Borussia Dortmund in Munich, southern Germany, on April 8, 2017 Credit: AFP

Bartra has featured regularly for Dortmund in his first season with the club, making 18 league appearances and seven more in the Champions League, scoring one goal and making three assists along the way.

Read our full profile of the player.

7:45PM

'Bartra sustained hand injury in blasts'

 

7:44PM

'No threat to anyone inside the stadium'

 

7:44PM

Barcelona express concern for their former player, Marc Bartra

 

7:43PM

Solidarity shown by the Monaco fans in the stadium

 

7:42PM

First images of the team bus

 

7:34PM

Match postponed

Officials confirm the Champions League quarter final has been postponed to Wednesday.

Message displayed on the big screen within the ground reads ' BVB of Twitter: Bei Abfahrt unseres Busses hat sich ein Vorfall ereignet. Eine Person wurde dabei verletzt. Weitere infos folgen.' 'BVB on Twitter: When we left our bus, an incident occurred. One person was injured. More information will follow Credit: EMPICS Sport

 

7:30PM

Three explosions went off near team bus

Police have said that three explosions went off near the team bus as it approached the stadium in Dortmund.

7:29PM

Marc Bartra named as injured Borussia Dortmund player

The Spanish centre-back has been named as the injured player.

A file picture dated 06 December 2016 of Borussia Dortmund's Spanish defender Marc Bartra Credit: EPA

 

7:28PM

Decision on whether match will be abandoned at 19:30 BST

Fans are awaiting the verdict in the stadium.

7:22PM

'Windows broken' during explosion

Windows were broken during the explosion, according to a statement from Dortmund police. 

The bomb went off as the bus passed a junction at Schirrmannweg and Wittbraucker Strasse, which is near the L'Arrivée hotel and spa. 

 

 

7:08PM

Borussia Dortmund tells fans - stay calm

The club has asked those in the stadium to remain calm as it investigates, adding that emergency workers were at the scene. 

"We will inform you as soon as there is news," the club added in a tweet. 

 

7:03PM

More on the reported explosion

6:59PM

Reports that one person has been injured

6:57PM

This from German newspaper Bild

Although we cannot confirm whether the explosion was ON the bus or NEAR the bus. 

6:55PM

'Explosions' near Borussia Dortmund team bus

Reports are coming in that there has been an explosion near the Dortmund team bus. More as soon as we have it.

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