Terror on the streets of Berlin: Car mounts the pavement and ploughs into crowd beside church killing at least one person and injuring 30
- At least one person killed after car drove into crowds of shoppers in Berlin
- 30 more injured after silver Renault mounted pavement opposite a church
- Police say driver arrested, but it is not clear whether crash was deliberate
- Scene is close to Berlin Christmas market attack in 2016 that killed 11 people
At least one person has been killed and up to 30 have been injured after a car ploughed into crowds near a church in Berlin this morning.
A silver Renault Twingo drove into people on Rankestrasse, a street packed with shops and cafes in western Berlin that is overlooked by Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, early Wednesday. The driver has been arrested.
Images from the scene showed the car embedded in the front of a shop next to outdoor café tables, with debris littering the pavement.
Actor John Barrowman, who was in a nearby shop near as the crash happened, described the scene as ‘very bad’ and said he saw a dead body lying in the road.
Barrowman said he heard a bang while shopping nearby and came out to find ‘carnage’ with police, medics and fire crews ‘everywhere’.
‘The car came down onto the pavement,’ he said. ‘Then has come onto the road over there, has hit somebody then has gone down the road and come back onto the pavement… and gone through a bunch of people and then right into a store front window.’
Police 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.’
The crash took place near the main shopping district’s Breitscheidplatz, the scene of Berlin’s 2016 Christmas market attack in which 13 people were killed.
The country has seen several such attacks since the deadly 2016 assault, with most carried out by people who were found to have psychological issues.
In December 2020, a German man ploughed his car through a pedestrian shopping street in the southwestern city of Trier, killing four adults and a baby.
Earlier the same year, a German man rammed his car through a carnival procession in the central town of Volkmarsen, injuring dozens of bystanders, including children. He was sentenced to life in jail last year.
In January 2019, another German national injured eight people when he drove into crowds on New Year’s Eve in the western cities of Bottrop and Essen. He was later taken into psychiatric care.
In April 2018, a German man crashed his van into people seated outside a restaurant in the city of Muenster, killing five before shooting himself dead. Investigators later said he had mental health problems.
During the football World Cup in Germany in 2006, a German man rammed his car into crowds gathered to watch a match at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, injuring some 20 people. The driver was later committed to a psychiatric hospital.
More to follow…