BERLIN — An unkempt man armed with a chainsaw wounded five people Monday at an insurance office in the northern Swiss city of Schaffhausen and then fled, police said. A manhunt was on for him.
Police were alerted to the attack at 10:39 a.m. (0839 GMT). Five people were taken to the hospital, two of them with serious injuries who were employees of a health insurance company.
Police warned “the suspect is dangerous” but added “this case is not a terrorist act.” They said it wasn’t clear whether he still had the chainsaw.
A rescue helicopter was brought in to help the victims and the old town in Schaffhausen was sealed off.
By Monday afternoon, Swiss police had identified the suspect, whom they described as being about 1 meter 90 centimeters tall (6.2 feet) with a bald head and an unkempt appearance.
They did not name him but issued old photos of the suspect wearing a green T-shirt and black jeans, standing among trees.
The man was believed to be driving a white Volkswagen minivan Monday with registration plates from the southeastern Swiss canton (state) of Graubuenden.
A health insurance company with a ground-floor office in the Schaffhausen building where the attack took place said two of its employees had to be taken to a hospital.
“We can confirm that a man with a chainsaw came into the agency and seriously wounded two of our employees,” said Christina Wettstein, a spokeswoman for insurer CSS. “They are undergoing operations at the moment and we don’t know how they are.”
The company doesn’t know yet whether the other three wounded people were customers or passers-by, she added. It also doesn’t know whether the attacker was a customer.
Schaffhausen is a city of about 36,000 people north of Zurich, near the border with Germany.