Car Crashes Into a Berlin Crowd, Killing 1 and Injuring a Dozen

BERLIN — A automotive plowed into a crowd of individuals on a busy Berlin sidewalk on Wednesday, killing one particular person and injuring a dozen others, earlier than crashing into the window of a retailer close to the positioning of a devastating 2016 terrorist assault, the police mentioned.

Five of the victims have life-threatening accidents, a Fire Department spokesman mentioned.

The police have arrested the motive force of the automotive, who they are saying is a 29-year-old German man of Armenian origin who lives in Berlin, and began an investigation into whether or not the crash was unintentional or intentional.

(*1*) Thilo Cablitz, a Berlin police spokesman, informed reporters on the scene.

Mr. Cablitz, who confirmed the casualty numbers, mentioned passers-by had apprehended the motive force. He was then taken into custody by the police, who know no motive at the moment, Mr. Cablitz mentioned. The police said on Twitter that 130 rescue staff had been on-site.

“The crime scene stretches over two blocks, about 200 to 300 meters,” mentioned Adrian Wentzel, a spokesman for the Berlin hearth brigade.

The crash occurred at 10:26 a.m. on a avenue in a busy buying district within the west of the German capital, in accordance with preliminary police experiences. The driver first drove onto a sidewalk and into a crowd, then again onto the road, solely to drive again onto the sidewalk and into the entrance of a retailer, in accordance with witness accounts.

According to information experiences and images taken on the scene, the automotive, a Renault Clio with Berlin license plates, stopped transferring after it crashed into the window of the shop.

The police used Twitter to ask witnesses for video recordings or images to assist them with the investigation. They additionally requested witnesses to not flow into photos of the investigation.

Several hearth vans and many firefighters had been seen on the scene, with helicopters circling overhead. The police shortly roped off the realm, which was close to the situation of a terrorist assault on a Christmas market in 2016.

The sq. has since been strengthened to safeguard it and shield the big numbers of people that go via it every single day. A medevac helicopter was seen lifting off from the realm, usually a packed sq. stuffed with consumers.

John Barrowman, a presenter and actor who has appeared on the tv sequence “Doctor Who,” was on trip in Berlin and searching a retailer close to the place the incident occurred.

In a sequence of social media updates from the scene, Mr. Barrowman described seeing a physique on the bottom and injured folks limping. Sirens might be heard blaring within the background as he confirmed emergency companies autos parked on the road in a single replace, and a helicopter in one other.

“The police presence is unbelievable. They are clearing out the area,” he mentioned in one of the videos posted on Twitter. “I heard the bang and the crash when we were in a store and then we came out and we just saw the carnage,” he mentioned.

“I am deeply affected by this incident,” Berlin’s mayor, Franziska Giffey, wrote on Twitter.

Asked concerning the assault, Ms. Giffey mentioned in an change reported by the DPA information company: “It’s a situation where you think: For God’s sake, not again!” She added: “Whether the location was a coincidence, or whether that was a deliberately chosen, we don’t know that yet.”

In the 2016 terrorist assault, 12 folks had been killed by an attacker who stole a truck and plowed it into a crowd of individuals. The attacker was later killed in a shootout with the police in Italy.

In 2018, two folks had been killed after the motive force of a small truck crashed into a group of individuals within the coronary heart of Münster’s previous metropolis, in western Germany. The driver killed himself within the cab of the truck instantly after the crash.

Two years later, 5 folks had been killed after a drunk 51-year-old German man zigzagged his S.U.V. for about a half-mile via a busy pedestrian buying avenue lined with outlets within the metropolis of Trier, within the southwestern a part of the nation. The authorities mentioned the person didn’t look like motivated by political or spiritual beliefs.

Anna Schaverien contributed reporting from London.

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