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Wednesday, 08 June 2022 – One person has been killed and at least a dozen others injured after a car ploughed into a crowd of people outside a church in Berlin, Germany.
The victim was a female teacher who was struck when the silver Renault Clio mounted the pavement in Charlottenburg at more than 90mph, according to Bild.
She was out with a group of students, some of whom are believed to be among those hurt in the crash, which took place close to the war-ravaged Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Wednesday morning, June 8.
The driver, said by police to be a 29-year-old German-Armenian living in the capital, was arrested at the scene.
He initially tried to flee on foot but was detained by onlookers who handed him over to police, witnesses said.
One told the German newspaper: ‘Suddenly blue lights were everywhere. The man was surrounded by a crowd of police officers.
‘He came out of a side street off Douglas with the officers who were holding him and was given medical attention first. After that they took him away.’
The driver is said to have swerved back into the road after the initial collision, travelling a further 200 yards along the intersection before mounting the kerb again and smashing through a shop front.
Witnesses say the man drove ‘very fast’ towards the pavement on Tauentzienstrausse, a street lined with shops and cafes – around 10.30am Wednesday before smashing into crowds of shoppers without braking. He then rejoined the road and drove another 600ft – past Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, before hitting the shop.
The man tried to flee the scene, witnesses added, but was held by two passersby until police arrived and arrested him. Officers have confirmed the arrest but refused to say whether they believe the crash was deliberate.
Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said: ‘Around 10.30am a man drove into a group with his vehicle.
‘Whether it was an intentional act, a traffic accident or a medical emergency, we cannot say yet.’
An Interior Ministry spokesperson told reporters: ‘It is too early to speculate about the background (of the incident).’
Bild newspaper released a picture of the driver being detained, wearing a yellow pullover, jogging trousers, and red trainers.
Several heavily armed officers secured the area. Blankets covered what appeared to be a body in a cordoned-off area guarded by officers.
Rescue workers could be seen moving apparently conscious people on stretchers towards an ambulance, including one woman sitting up, and another who covered her face with her hand.
Actor John Barrowman was in the area at the time, and described hearing a ‘loud bang’ from inside a shop before running out to a scene of ‘carnage’ with a dead body lying in the road and police ‘everywhere’.
Posting on Twitter from the street, he said: ‘The car came down onto the pavement. Then has come onto the road over there, has hit somebody then has gone down the road and come back onto the pavement… and gone through a bunch of people and then right into a store front window.’
Speaking to Sky News, he added: ‘How horrible that this morning these people got up to just go through a regular day, they were going through their daily business. I mean we were shopping, but if you think if we’d have come out of that store one minute earlier…
‘We are no experts but this looks intentional,’ he added, speaking alongside husband Scott Gill.