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13 April
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Explosions damage Borussia Dortmund team bus

The team bus of the Borussia Dortmund football club seen after the bus was damaged in an explosion. Photo: Getty ImagesDortmund: ​Local police say a player for German soccer team Borussia Dortmund was injured after several explosions near the team bus ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game at home to AS Monaco.
Nanjing Night Net

However, German authorities have said at this stage they do not believe the blasts were terrorism-related but they believe it was “an attack with serious explosive devices,” that were likely placed in a hedge near a car park.

​The match, a quarter-final first leg at Signal Iduna Park, was called off and rescheduled for Wednesday.

“According to what is currently known, the windows of the bus were (entirely or partly) smashed and one person was injured,” Dortmund police said in a statement.

Mass-selling German newspaperBildreported in its online edition that explosive devices were placed in a bush by the road along which the bus was travelling.

“The explosive devices were placed outside the bus. Several windows were broken,” police spokesman Gunnar Wortmann was quoted as saying.

Dortmund said defender and Spanish international Marc Bartra had been taken to hospital.

Police deployed a drone to search for other possible explosive devices in the area around the team hotel, and said they found a suspicious object.

Bartra, 26, joined Dortmund for €8 million ($11.3 million) last year from Barcelona, after coming through the Catalan club’s youth system. He has made 12 appearances for the Spanish national team.

“All of our support to @MarcBartra, @BVB and their fans,” Barcelona tweeted in support of their former player.

Dortmund defender Lukasz Piszczek told Poland’s Przeglad Sportowy: “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.”

Police said earlier the incident happened in Hoechsten, located outside the city.

“It is not yet possible to say exactly what the explosion was or exactly where something exploded,” said the statement.

“Currently there is no evidence of a threat to the visitors at the stadium.”

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke told Germany’s Sky television there was an “explosive attack in the immediate vicinity of the hotel exit” as the bus moved from the hotel car park into Wittbraeucker Strasse.

“The team and the coaching staff are of course shocked. We must now channel it in some way,” he said.

“It will not be easy to get that out of the mind. In such a crisis situation, all at Borussia pull together. I think the team will feel it tomorrow.”

Club president Reinhard Rauball said: “Of course this is an extremely difficult situation for the players. But they are professionals, and I am convinced that they will put that away and will give a performance tomorrow.”

AS Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic told Croatian daily newspaper 24sata: “We are currently in the stadium, in a safe place, but the feeling’s horrible.”

“The bus turned into the main street, when there was a huge boom, a real explosion,” Sky television quoted Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki as saying.

“I was sitting in the back row next to Marc Bartra, hit by fragments … after the bang, we all ducked.”

Borussia Dortmund said in a statement: “Shortly after the departure of the Borussia Dortmund team bus from the hotel to the stadium there was an incident.

“The bus has been damaged in two places. One person has been injured and is in the hospital. At this point we will inform as soon as we know more.”

Dortmund later said in a tweet that the match would go ahead on Wednesday at 1645 GMT.

Dortmund is in western Germany, in the densely populated Ruhr industrial region.

Stadium spokesman Norbert Dickel informed fans of the cancellation, saying that “there is no reason for panic here at the stadium”.

Inside the packed stadium, supporters of Monaco, which plays in the French league, chanted “Dortmund, Dortmund” in sympathy.

Dortmund fans are reportedly offering accommodation for the night for stranded Monaco supporters through a #bedforawayfans Twitter campaign.

Meanwhile, the football world was quick to express solidarity, with messages of support flooding social media.

Current Germany international and captain of Dortmund’s rivals Schalke, Benedikt Howedes, tweeted a message to the club in German which read: “Separated in colours, united against violence! All the best, @MarcBartra and the entire team of the @BVB! I hope you’re fine! #BVBASM.”

Ilkay Gundogan, who played over 100 games for Dortmund before moving to Manchester City in 2016, posted: “I can not believe it! I hope you all go well @BVB!”

Among the Bundesliga clubs quick to offer support were Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen, the latter tweeting: “We’re shocked by the news out of Dortmund. Our thoughts are with @BVB and we’re wishing a speedy recovery to @MarcBartra!”

Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti posted: “We give all our support to @BVB and wish @MarcBartra an early recovery.”

Real Madrid and Spain captain Sergio Ramos added: “Today @BVB @MarcBartra and nothing more.”

Villarreal’s former Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado had words of support for fellow Spaniard Bartra, tweeting in Spanish: “All my support for the @BVB right now and especially my companion @MarcBartra. Today, everyone is closer than ever.”

Manchester United noted the incident involving their former Champions League rivals, tweeting: “We’re sending our support to our friends at @BVB tonight.”

Liverpool added: “Thinking about all of our friends at @BVB this evening. YNWA.”

And Atletico Madrid, preparing for Wednesday night’s last-eight clash against Leicester, tweeted: “Our support from Madrid for @BVB. We hope that @MarcBartra is alright and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert in a Twitter message wished Bartra a speedy recovery and praised Monaco fans in the stadium for chanting support for Dortmund after hearing news of the blasts.

“Great reaction of the Monaco fans. This evening we are all behind @BVB,” he tweeted in German.

International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach also tweeted in support for Borussia.

Dortmund’s Ruhr region rivals Schalke from nearby Gelsenkirchen wished Bartra a speedy recovery and Dortmund fans a safe journey home.

“In moments like these the region holds closely together,” the club tweeted.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

 
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