CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Spanish soccer player injured in attack against Borussia Dortmund team bus

Marc Bartra required wrist surgery after blasts shattered vehicle windows on way to match

Spanish soccer player Marc Bartra, who plays with the German team Borussia Dortmund (BVB), was injured on Tuesday when three explosions went off as the team bus was on its way to the stadium for a Champions League game. The blasts took place shortly after 7pm, German police said. The quarterfinals match against AS Monaco was immediately rescheduled for Wednesday at 6.45pm.

Police standing guard in front of the BVB team bus.
Police standing guard in front of the BVB team bus.Martin Meissner (AP)

The German government has sent messages of support to the team, and specifically to the injured Spaniard, who has been with Borussia Dortmund since last summer. And the minister president of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft, tweeted: “I wish Marc Bartra a quick recovery and BVB all the very best.”

“I wish Marc Bartra a quick recovery and BVB all the very best”

José Bartra, the defender’s father, said that his son was admitted to a local hospital. He sustained injuries to his right arm and hand, and underwent surgery on his right wrist on Tuesday night, according to a BVB spokesman.

Spanish footballer Marc Bartra.
Spanish footballer Marc Bartra.Armando Franca (AP)

The team’s goalkeeper, Roman Bürki, explained that he was sitting in the last row of the bus together with Bartra, who was hit by glass shards when the back window shattered from the force of the blasts. The team members threw themselves on the floor of the bus, fearful that more explosions might follow, Bürki told the Swiss newspaper Blick.

German police have confirmed that explosive devices were concealed on the side of the road, near a parking area. They went off on the corner of Wittbräucker street and Schirrmannweg, around 10 kilometers from Dortmund Stadium. Prosecutors said a letter claiming responsibility for the attack was found at the scene, and that investigators are checking its veracity.

Now we need to try to come to terms with the shock

Hans-Joachim Watzke, BVB chief

Through its Twitter account, the police said that there was no evidence of a threat against the people already at the stadium at the time of the attack, although the premises were quickly evacuated.

“Now we need to try to come to terms with the shock,” said Borussia Dortmund’s chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, in an interview with brodcaster ZDF.“We have to play again tomorrow. That will be a real challenge.”

English version by Susana Urra.

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