A car drove into a crowd of people in a busy shopping district in western Berlin on Wednesday, killing at least one person and leaving five with life-threatening injuries, a fire department spokesperson said.
More than a dozen people were injured when the driver ploughed into people on Kurfuerstendamm avenue, near the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, at around 10:30 a.m. local time, a police spokesman said.
The small silver Renault continued toward Tauentzienstrasse, a tree-lined street popular with tourists, before veering off the road and crashing through a glass shop window, the spokesman, Thilo Cablitz, said.
“A man is believed to have driven into a group of people. It is not yet known whether it was an accident or a deliberate act,” Berlin police said on Twitter, adding that the driver was being held at the scene.
Police said that the driver, a 29-year-old German-Armenian national, is being questioned.
More than 130 emergency services personnel were responding to the incident, Berlin’s mayor, Franziska Giffey, said in a post on Twitter thanking them for their quick response.
“I am deeply affected by this incident. We know that there is one dead and there are several seriously injured. The police are working urgently to clarify the situation,” Giffey tweeted.
Videos and images shared on social media showed blankets covering what appeared to be a body in an area cordoned off by police and a helicopter circling above.
Scottish-American actor John Barrowman, who was at the scene, said that the car careened onto the pavement and hit people before crashing into a storefront window.
“I heard the bang and the crash when we were in a store and then we came out and we just saw the car,” he said in a video posted on Twitter, adding that he saw a number of people with injuries.
Wednesday’s incident unfolded near the spot of a fatal attack on December 19, 2016, when Anis Amri, a Tunisian national with Islamist terrorist links, rammed a tractor trailer truck into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48. Amri was later shot dead by police in Italy.
This is a developing story …
By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka
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