What we know so far about the Borussia Dortmund blasts

Kate Connolly in Berlin, Cath Levett, Pete Guest and Finbarr Sheehy

Where and when did the attack happen?

At about 7.15pm local time on Tuesday night – 90 minutes before the kick-off of a Champions League quarter-final tie between Borussia Dortmund (BVB) and AS Monaco – the BVB team bus was hit by three explosions in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the team’s hotel in the Dortmund district of Höchsten.

locator

The incident occurred about six miles (10km) from the Signal Iduna Park stadium, where the bus had been heading. The devices exploded as the bus drove down the 100-metre hotel driveway. It stopped soon after on Wittbräuchker Strasse.

Hotel map

After the explosions the players all ducked, some diving to the floor of the bus. It is believed the explosives had been hidden in a hedge close to a car park and were detonated remotely. The game was postponed until Wednesday evening.

What happened to the bus?

The explosives, believed by police to have been pipe bombs, badly damaged the bus in two places, shattering one window on the righthand side towards the back of the bus and causing another towards the back to splinter. The bus has been taken away for forensic investigation.

A metal part from the one of the bombs had lodged in the headrest of one of the seats. “The consequences could have been far worse,” a police spokeswoman said.

the damage to the bus

Who was injured in the attack?

Marc Bartra, BVB’s 26-year-old Spanish international centre-back, broke a bone in his wrist and took some shrapnel in his arm.

Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki told Swiss media he was sitting next to Bartra on the back row of the bus when they heard a blast. Bartra was hit by fragments of the broken window, Bürki said.

Bus plan

Bartra had surgery on his arm and wrist and on Wednesday morning it was announced the player, who moved to the club from Barcelona in 2016 for €8m, was recovering well, though it is believed he will be out of action for weeks or even months. Bartra later wrote an Instagram post in which he told followers that he was “doing much better”:

A police officer riding on a motorbike as part of a convoy accompanying the bus was also injured. He is being treated for shock and an ear blast injury and is off duty, but his injuries are not thought to be serious.

After the attack most of the other players were escorted by police with machine guns to another bus and taken to safety while some were picked up by family members.

Hans-Joachim Watzke, BVB’s CEO, said “the question remains how we help the team to work through this traumatic experience”.

What do we know about who might be responsible for it?

Federal prosecutors in Karlsruhe have taken on the investigation into the attack and say they are in no doubt that it was a targeted attack against the BVB team.

A spokeswoman said the investigation is focussing on two suspects “from the Islamist spectrum”, and that one of them has been detained.

Three letters had been found near the scene of the attack, all of which suggested a possible radical Islamic motive, the spokeswoman said, adding that there were serious doubts about the validity of an online claim of responsibility made by an anti-fascist group.

What security measures were taken before the the rescheduled game?

Sniffer dogs and drones were being used to scour the area in and around all matches taking place in Germany, most prominently the rescheduled Dortmund match, which kicked off at 6.45pm local time (17:45 BST) with a massive police presence. The game passed largely without incident off the pitch, with Monaco winning an entertaining match 3-2.

The Champions League game between FC Bayern and Real Madrid taking place in Munich was also much more tightly policed than previously planned. All team buses were searched for explosives by sniffer dogs before the players boarded them.

How have fans reacted?

On Tuesday night Dortmund fans put up thousands of Monaco fans for the night who had expected to travel back after the game. People offering accommodation under the hashtag #bedsforawayfans were inundated with responses. Dortmund’s media director, Sascha Fligge, admitted it would be difficult to go ahead with the rescheduled game tonight. “But the schedule doesn’t allow for any other possibility,” he said. “We hope the Borussia family will show solidarity in such a difficult situation and we’ll be playing the match for Marc.”

Fans who were not able to attend the rescheduled match were asked to offer their tickets for resale on Borussia Dortmund’s official ticket market website. Those unable to sell their tickets will receive a full refund.

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