A car drove into a crowd of people in a busy shopping district in western Berlin on Wednesday, killing at least one woman and leaving six others with life-threatening injuries, authorities said.
More than a dozen people in total were injured when the driver ploughed into people on Kurfuerstendamm avenue, near the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, at around 10:30 a.m. local time, according to the German capital’s police and fire department.
After slamming into the crowd, the small silver Renault careened toward Tauentzienstrasse, a tree-lined street popular with tourists, before crashing through a glass shop window.
“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,” Berlin police tweeted after the incident.
Police said that the driver, a 29-year-old German-Armenian national, was detained at the scene and is being questioned.
Authorities are trying to determine if the incident was caused by a medical emergency, Berlin police spokeswoman Anja Dierschke told CNN’s affiliate n-tv, adding that the driver has been given a medical examination.
“It is completely open” at the moment, Dierschke said of the investigation, calling on members of the public to share videos or images from the scene so that officers can review them for clues.
More than 130 emergency services personnel were responding to the incident, Berlin’s mayor, Franziska Giffey, said in a post on Twitter thanking them for their quick response.
“I am deeply affected by this incident. We know that there is one dead and there are several seriously injured. The police are working urgently to clarify the situation,” Giffey tweeted.
Videos and images shared on social media showed blankets covering what appeared to be a body in an area cordoned off by police and a helicopter circling above.
Scottish-American actor John Barrowman, who was at the scene, said that the car careened onto the pavement and hit people before crashing into a storefront window. “I heard the bang and the crash when we were in a store and then we came out and we just saw the car,” he said in a video posted on Twitter, adding that he saw a number of people with injuries.
Wednesday’s incident unfolded near the spot of a fatal attack on December 19, 2016, when Anis Amri, a Tunisian national with Islamist terrorist links, rammed a tractor trailer truck into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 people and injuring 48. Amri was later shot dead by police in Italy.
This is a developing story …