According to the police, a lorry plowed into a busy Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing nine people and injuring dozens.
Police believe the attack was deliberate, the video showed many stalls knocked over and people lying injured by a tractor-trailer. A suspicious man has been arrested nearby, while another man who was in the lorry was found dead.
The incident occurred at a market in Beritscheidplatz, which is close to the main shopping street in the city’s west, Kurfuerstendamm.
Steffen Seibert, the spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, tweeted to say that:-
We are in mourning for the dead and hope that the many injured can get help.
The latest updates from the area are that the Berlin police has appealed the people to stay at home and avoid the area, although they have also added that there are no “indications of further dangerous situations” in the area. A “Safety Check” page has also been created by Facebook for affected people to let their loved ones know that they are safe.
According to a local news agency, the police believe that the lorry drove 50-80 meters through the area during the incident, which occurred at around 20:14 local time (13:14 CST). The police spokesman said that
We are investigating whether it was a terror attack but do not yet know what was behind it. One person was detained. The cab of the truck was found empty.
The images of the lorry showed that it was registered in neighboring Poland. The accounts of various eyewitnesses have surfaced who describe the incident as “clearly deliberate.”
A British eyewitness who’s a tourist visiting from Birmingham said that the lorry missed him by only three meters as it drove into the market, tearing wooden stands and tables. While adding that the incident was definitely deliberate, he said that he helped people with broken limbs and others who were trapped under Christmas stands.
Another witness to the incident, Emma Rushton tweeted “People crushed. I am safe. I am safe.” She later told a news agency that the driver of the truck didn’t slow down who was traveling at around 40 mph into the pedestrian area and “there’s no way it was an accident.”
The Deputy Editor-in-chief of a Berlin newspaper (Berliner Morgenpot), Jan Hollitzer described the scene as “traumatic” and said that he saw people underneath the truck when it came to a stop.
According to the reports by Berliner Zeitung, a meeting point has been set up for the relatives of the injured at the scene by the police.
The incident evoked memoirs of the lorry attack in the French City of Nice on Bastille Day crowds on July 14, when 86 people were killed. That incident was claimed by the so-called Islamic State.
Germany has been alarmed by a series of small-scale terror attacks earlier this year. German officials have been concerned about the security of the Christmas markets, which are the main shopping places for Christmas.