Berlin: suspect held and 12 dead after truck crashes into market
At least 12 people have been killed and about 50 more injured after a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin in what is believed to have been a deliberate attack.
The vehicle, a large black Scania articulated lorry, crashed into the market outside the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church on Monday evening.
German police said one person found in the truck died of injuries sustained in the incident, while a suspect – thought to be the driver – was arrested about 100 metres away in the Tiergarten. Police have not confirmed either person’s identity.
Police later said the person in the truck was a Polish citizen, and the vehicle had a Polish registration and belonged to a Polish delivery company. According to the firm, the truck left Poland on Monday afternoon, heading to Berlin. The company said it lost touch with the driver at 4pm local time.
Doctors treating patients at the scene and in clinics across Berlin reported a high number of fractures and internal injuries – including bleeding and damaged organs. One doctor said operations would be going on through the night with many of the injured in a life-threatening state so off-duty doctors across Berlin were being brought in.
A witness told the Guardian that the truck hit the market at speed. “It was not an accident. The truck was going 40mph. It was in the middle of a square, there are main roads either side, [where it could have come from]. But it showed no sign of slowing down,” said Emma Rushton, a British tourist.
She said it crashed into a stall only a few feet from where she and her friend were standing. “We heard a massive bang. About eight to 10 feet in front of us was where the lorry ploughed through. It ploughed through the stall where we bought our mulled wine.
“It ploughed through people and the wooden huts, it tore the lights down. Everything went dark, it was black and there was screaming. It was awful,” she said.