Manhunt in Denmark shuts down bridges, ferries to Copenhagen

A traffic jam is seen after police closed the Oresund Bridge near Copenhagen on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018. Danish police on Friday cut off the eastern island of Zealand, where the capital of Copenhagen sits, from the rest of the country as well as from neighboring Germany and Sweden due to "a major police operation." Bridges from Zealand to the central island of Funen and to neighboring Sweden have been closed down, as have ferry crossings to Germany and to Sweden. (Nils Meilvang/Ritzau Scanpix via AP)

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — A nationwide police manhunt paralyzed Denmark on Friday after authorities briefly cut off the eastern island of Zealand, where the capital of Copenhagen sits, from the rest of the country as well as from Germany and Sweden.

Bridges from Zealand to the central island of Funen and to neighboring Sweden were closed down for about two hours, and ferry crossings to Germany and to Sweden were also halted. Shutting down these key crossings caused major traffic jams near the bridges to Sweden and the mainland.

The Copenhagen police later said all bridges and ferry crossings had been reopened but heavily armed police officers were screening cars at bridges and ferries across the country.

Television footage showed cars being checked as they drove through roadblocks at the Oresund bridge to Sweden, causing traffic jams up to 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) long, according to the Danish Road Directorate.

Copenhagen police said they were looking for a black Swedish-registered car with “possibly three people onboard” in connection with “serious criminality.” They later said the car had been found, but made no mention of the people, or of any arrests being made.

“We have found a vehicle that we believe is the right one,” Copenhagen police spokesman Joergen Bergen Skov said. “There is no reason to be worried.”

Sweden’s Aftonbladet paper, citing an unnamed police source, said the case was likely connected to a kidnapping. It said the car, a Volvo V90, had been stolen from the airport on Aug. 1, east of Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city.

Denmark’s TV2 said a police helicopter and a search with canine squads were spotted on the highway near Roskilde, 25 kilometers (40 miles) west of Copenhagen.

Copenhagen airport stayed open during the manhunt, according to its website.

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This story corrects the spelling of the island to Zealand.

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