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German soccer team reports explosion near team bus

One player injured
Posted: 12:18 PM, Apr 11, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-11 23:00:21Z
German soccer team reports explosion on team bus
German soccer team reports explosion on team bus

Three "serious explosives" shattered windows on the Borussia Dortmund team bus Tuesday as the German football squad was attacked en route to its home Champions League match, Dortmund police said.

 

Twenty-six-year-old Spanish defender Marc Bartra suffered injuries to an arm and hand, the team said. Bartra, who has played 17 games in all competitions for Dortmund this season, was treated at the scene and hospitalized.

The team left its hotel about 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET) for the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals match, a Dortmund police spokesman said.

Between 40 and 50 people, including the trainer and medical support staff, were on board when three explosions were heard, the spokesman said. The cause was unknown. The initial report was of one blast, but police later said there were three.

A preliminary investigation indicates the explosives "could have been hidden in a hedge near a parking lot," according to an update posted on the Dortmund police website.

Video from the scene showed police escorting American midfielder Christian Pulisic away from the bus, apparently unharmed. Other images showed head coach Thomas Tuchel and members of the team in training gear, accompanied by police with long guns, standing on the side of the road. Some of the players looked stunned.

"Our task now is to process this because in less than 24 hours we need to play," Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said, according to a CNN translation. "That's our job. There is no alternative. It's an unlucky situation but there is no other solution."

The location of the blast was roughly 13 kilometers (8 miles) from Westfalenstadion, also known as Signal Iduna Park.

As news of the incident spread inside the stadium, fans of Dortmund's opponent, AS Monaco, stood, clapped and chanted "Dortmund!"

No one inside was in danger, police said. Security was heavy after the explosions and the stadium was evacuated.

"Due to tonight's incident, the UEFA Champions League match between Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco has been postponed until Wednesday at 18:45CET," UEFA, European soccer's governing body, said in a statement. "This decision was made after a meeting held at the BVB Stadion Dortmund between UEFA, representatives of the two clubs and local authorities."

The match is the first of a home-and-away series that will send the winner to the semifinals.