A car has been driven into a crowd of people in western Berlin near the site of the 2016 Christmas market terror attack, killing one person and injuring several others.
A spokesperson for the German capital’s fire service said at least eight people had been seriously injured, five of whom were being treated for critical injuries. An unspecified number of people had sustained lighter injuries.
“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,” police said, adding that the man was being held at the scene.
The incident took place on Wednesday at about 10.30am, near the scene of a fatal attack on 19 December 2016, when Anis Amri, a rejected Tunisian asylum seeker with Islamist links, hijacked a truck, killed the driver and then ploughed it into a crowded Christmas market, killing 11 more people and injuring dozens of others.
“We don’t know whether this was a deliberate act or a traffic accident,” a police spokesperson told the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel. “We have detained the driver and are shedding light on the matter.” Tagesspiegel said the driver was a 60-year-old man, citing police circles.
The actor John Barrowman posted a video from the scene on Twitter, in which he described witnessing what appeared to be a car deliberately driving into crowds of people.
“There’s lots of police, there’s a dead body in the middle of the road, there’s a lot of people walking with limps and injuries.”
Barrowman, known for his appearances in Doctor Who and Torchwood, said he saw a car mount the pavement outside an Italian restaurant on Rankestrasse and drive back on to the road before turning around and mounting the pavement on the other side.
Pictures circulating on social media showed a silver Renault Clio after having crashed into the shopfront window of a branch of the German cosmetics chain Douglas, on Marburger Strasse.