Dortmund bus attack: Goalkeeper Roman Burki relives moment explosives went off near team bus

Mark Critchley
The Independent
Three explosions went off nearby Dortmund's bus, shattering one window: Getty
Three explosions went off nearby Dortmund's bus, shattering one window: Getty

Roman Burki, the Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper, has revealed how he and his team-mates had to throw themselves to the ground after their team bus came under attack on Tuesday.

Three explosions went off nearby the Dortmund bus as the team left their hotel in the suburb of Dortmund-Höchsten shortly after 7.00pm local time.

Marc Barta, the Dortmund defender who was sitting next to Burki, broke a bone in his right wrist in the incident and subsequently underwent surgery in hospital.

“We left the hotel at 7:15pm and just went down the street,” Burki told Blick, the German website.

“The bus then turned down the main street and there was a massive explosion. I was sitting in the back row next to Marc Bartra, who was hit by fragments of broken glass.

“After the bang, we all ducked and some threw themselves to the ground. We were unaware of what had happened, but the police were quick on the spot and we were safe.

“We are all in shock and no one thought about the football in his moment.”

Dortmund were travelling to face Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with the Ligue 1 club.

The fixture was subsequently postponed until 6.45pm local time on Wednesday, with the decision to put the game back made 15 minutes prior to the game's scheduled kick off.

Hans Joachim-Watzke, Dortmund’s chief executive, revealed that several members of the playing squad were in shock after the incident.

“An explosive strike on the bus was carried out immediately after the departure from the hotel. Three explosive devices were placed and triggered on the edge of the road,” he wrote in a statement.

”The whole team is in shock. We have to get through this. It will not be easy for the players. I hope that the team will somehow be able to return to the field.

“Borussia Dortmund is especially strong in extreme situations. Everyone will come even closer together and I'm sure the team will feel this,” Watzke added.

According to local police, the blasts were specifically aimed at the bus and a letter claiming responsibility for the attack was recovered from the scene. Investigators are examining the letter's authenticity.

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