At least one person has died and eight have been injured this Wednesday, according to the Berlin Fire Department, when a vehicle ran over a crowd in that city after getting on a sidewalk, near the popular and usually busy Kurfürstendamm shopping avenue, in the western part of the german capital. Of these eight injured, five are in very serious condition and their lives are feared, while another three are in serious condition but to a lesser extent, according to a police spokesman who has attended the press at the scene. This spokesman told El PAÍS that the driver of the vehicle, who has already been arrested, is a 29-year-old German of Armenian origin residing in Berlin. It is still unknown if it was an accident or a premeditated act.
The outrage occurred, around half past ten in the morning, just a few meters from where an attack against those attending a Christmas market took place in 2016, which left 12 fatalities. The newspaper bild reports that the arrested man was driving a Renault car. This newspaper was able to appreciate how a car of that brand, a gray Clio, was still embedded in the window of a perfumery on the corner of Ranken and Tauentzien streets, an area full of shops and offices near the famous Kurfürstendamm avenue, in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg.
The Berlin Police have asked witnesses to provide information and photos or videos of what happened to a web address. He has also requested that nothing be distributed on the internet about this event.
“It is not yet known if it was an accident or an intentional action,” The police have written on their official Twitter account. The security body of the German capital has also confirmed that the driver of the vehicle was arrested after passersby held him and later handed him over to the emergency services. According to the newspaper bildthe man had tried to escape at first.
Police keep the entire block cordoned off. The noise of the helicopters contrasts with the apparent normality of the rest of this commercial area of Berlin where the shops are still open and the sidewalks are full of passers-by. Public bus service does continue to be interrupted in what is one of the few signs that something unusual has happened in that neighborhood this morning.
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The scene of the outrage is a short distance from the square where on December 19, 2016, the Islamist terrorist Anis Amri killed 12 people with a truck in a crowded Christmas market in the German capital. Amri, a Tunisian citizen who had requested asylum in the country, ran over passers-by with the vehicle. After the tragedy, the capital designed a monument in memory of the victims: a 15-meter golden line on the ground in front of the Kaiser Guillerno church where the names of the deceased are engraved on the steps.
The Senator (Councilor) of the Interior of Berlin, Iris Spranger, has gone to the scene. “I am shocked by the incident in Charlottenburg. My thoughts and my deepest condolences are with all those affected, ”she assured, in statements collected by her team on her Twitter.
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