Berlin trailer truck crashed into a Christmas market, killing 12 people and wounding 48. According to eyewitnesses, customers shouted and threw the packages in the hope to escape when the truck crashed into the market.
The police are investigating. Suspected terrorist attack, reports German intelligence.
After the tragedy, the German police arrested the suspect, who walked 1.5 miles from the crash site. Investigators are working to determine whether it is associated with the attack. Some of the victims in hospital are in serious condition. The truck that was involved in an accident on Breitscheidplatz, in the Western part of Berlin, was with the Polish rooms, said police spokesman Kerstin Ziesmer. Driver found dead in truck was a Polish citizen.
Witness Emma Rushton said the truck did not slow down. She said that the truck was traveling about 40 miles per hour through a crowded pedestrian area. Another witness, Shandana Durrani, was 20 feet from the truck when he plowed through several stalls. Durrani, an American who moved to Berlin several months ago, said he was saved by the fact that he stopped to write a message.
The incident, which officials are investigating as an act of terrorism, caused memories on the use of machines in the attacks. Terrorist groups have used the Internet to encourage followers in the West to use the vehicle to organize attacks.
German officials were concerned about safety around the Christmas markets, which are a major destination for holiday shopping. The US state Department warned US citizens in November about the increased risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, especially during the holiday season. The alert, which urges citizens to be careful on the holiday festivals, expires on February 20.
sections: World News, Accidents, Accidents