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  • Writer's pictureWGON

Berlin: Several Injured, One Dead, One Arrest After Driver Ploughs Vehicle Into Crowds

At least one person has died after a car drove through a group of people on a Berlin shopping street Wednesday morning, with police arresting the driver of the vehicle despite saying it was unclear whether the incident was deliberate or not.

Warning: this article contains images some people may find distressing.

Emergency services including an air ambulance attended a scene of destruction in Charlottenburg near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Breitscheidplatz, near the junction between Rankestraße and Kurfürstendamm, where a car mounted the pavement around 0830 (0230 EST) and crashed into the front of a shop.

According to Berlin police, one person is thought to have died after the vehicle ploughed through a group of people, and at least eight are injured, some critically. The Berliner Morgenpost — whose offices overlook the scene of the event — cites the remarks of police spokesman Thilo Cablitz who said the force had not yet determined whether the smash was a traffic accident or a deliberate attack, but that the driver has been arrested.

The Morgenpost notes in an update to their own coverage that while no identity of the driver has been announced, they believe the owner of the vehicle involved is a German citizen.

Given the busy nature of the neighbourhood, there were several witnesses to the incident, including American Actor John Barrowman who described his instant reaction in a piece-to-camera he shared on social media. Barrowman said the incident was less like a simple collision but was more like a series of crashes. He remarked of his experience:

It’s pretty bad, guys… there’s a dead body in the middle of the road, over here are all the emergency services who are trying to help victims. There are a lot of people walking with injuries. … the car came down onto the pavement — we had dinner in that restaurant last night — it came onto the road over there, hit somebody, has gone down the road and has come back onto the pavement… and gone through a bunch of people… and right into a storefront window.

The actor said he’d witnessed multiple fatalities, although the authorities have only confirmed one at the time of publication.

While the nature of the fatal smash remains an open question, police say, some are already making the link between the location and the incident. Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of Germany’s highest circulation newspapers points out this morning today’s fatality occurred directly by Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz, where the 2016 Christmas Market terror attack took place.

In that case, Islamist Anis Amri drove a stolen truck into the Breitscheidplatz Christmas market in an attack that killed 12. Incredibly, Amri was able to escape the scene of the attack and spent days travelling across Europe, before he was finally intercepted and shot dead in Italy on December 23rd 2016.

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