Police hunting for suspect after at least five hurt in chainsaw rampage in Swiss town

Police sealed off the area, evacuated businesses and pedestrians, but confirmed it was not a ‘terrorist act’

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 10:58pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 July, 2017, 10:58pm

A man armed with a chainsaw ­injured at least five people in Switzerland on Monday and is now on the run after a rampage that police said was not “a terrorist act”.

Authorities were first alerted to the incident in the old quarter of Schaffhausen at 10:39am, ATS news agency said.

Police officers, ambulances and helicopters then rushed to the scene and sealed off the area, evacuating businesses and pedestrians, according to multiple ­media outlets.

“For now, there are five people injured ... two seriously and three lightly,” Schaffhausen police spokeswoman Cindy Beer said in a video clip posted on the Blick news site. She added that all the victims were being treated in hospital for their injuries.

Witnesses, including a local shop manager, told Blick the attacker was wielding a chainsaw.

Police said the attacker had been identified and is believed to be on the run in a vehicle, according to ATS. Authorities were quoted as saying that the attack was not “a terrorist act”.

By on Monday afternoon, Swiss police said they on the hunt for the suspect, whom they described as having an unkempt appearance, about 1.9 metres tall and bald.

The man was believed to be driving a white Volkswagen minivan with registration plates from the southeastern Swiss canton of Graubuenden.

In a statement, police warned that “the suspect is dangerous”, and that it was not clear whether he still had the chainsaw. The building where the attack took place houses a bookshop and ­insurance and lawyers’ offices.

Additional reporting Associated Press