At least one dead and eight injured in a massive hit-and-run in Berlin | International
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At least one person has died and eight have been injured this Wednesday, according to the Berlin Police, 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 part west of the German capital. Of these eight injured, five are in very serious condition and their lives are feared, while three others are also in serious condition but of lesser consideration, according to Thilo Cablitz, a police spokesman who has attended the press at the scene. Cablitz reported that the driver of the vehicle, who has already been arrested, is a 29-year-old German of Armenian origin who lives 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, at the corner of Ranken and Tauentzien streets, an area full of shops and offices near Kurfürstendamm avenue, in the Berlin district of Charlottenburg. This place is located just a few meters from the Breitscheidplatz, the square where an attack against those attending a Christmas market took place in 2016, leaving 12 fatalities. The newspaper bild reported that the arrested man was driving a Renault brand car. After running over passers-by, the driver did not stop but continued for about 200 meters until he crashed the vehicle into the window of a perfume shop. This newspaper was able to appreciate how a gray Renault Clio was still embedded in the showcase of that establishment.
After crashing the car, the driver was arrested after bystanders held him back and later handed him over to emergency services, Berlin Police confirmed. According to bildthe man had tried to escape at first.
According to that same newspaper, the fatal victim of the outrage is a 51-year-old school teacher, who, at the time of the event, was with a group of students in the central shopping area.
“It is not yet known if it was an accident or an intentional action,” has written on his official Twitter account the Berlin Police. His spokesman, Thilo Cablitz, pointed out that one of the hypotheses that are being investigated is whether, in the event of an accident, its cause was a medical problem of the driver of the vehicle. The security body has 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.
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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.
The scene of the outrage is a short distance from 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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