UPDATE: The suspect still remains at large.
“Police confirm that a truck ploughed into a Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz in Berlin-Charlottenburg,” local newspaper Berlin Morgen post stated.
Police have confirmed that two people were involved in the attack one suspect has been arrested the other person a passenger is dead.
Police have now retracted the earlier statement above and believe that the passenger found may have been the original driver of the truck. German authorities confirmed that the passenger was a police national.
Twelve people have been reported DEAD and forty-eight people have been injured according to local media.
— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) December 19, 2016
BREAKING: Person suspected of crashing truck into Berlin Christmas market has been taken into custody – ZDF https://t.co/9Op56cUYwt
— BNO News (@BNONews) December 19, 2016
Berlin Morgenpost live streamed the incident. Video shows a huge truck smash into the middle of the market on Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz near the famous anti-war memorial the Kaiser Wilhelm Church that was bombed by America in world war II and never repaired as a monument to the perils of war.
The suspect was later arrested miles from the scene at victory column.
This follows an assassination today of a Russian diplomat where the attacker shouted “we die in Allepo you die now Allahu Akbar.”
The truck attack has not yet been connected but ISIS has used this tactic before several times. Earlier this summer in July a self proclaimed jihadist used a truck to mow down scores of people and then again more recently another jihadist in the U.S. used the same tactic at Ohio State University.
A witness Emma Rushton, who was in the market, saw the truck speed past her at least going 40mph.
Rushton told Sky News she only missed being caught in the chaos because she had climbed up some steps to take a seat.
“The stall that we bought our mulled wine from was completely crushed. People were tearing off wooden panels to get out,” Ms. Rushton said.
She added, “It was not an accident. It was going 40mph, it was in the middle of the market. There was no way that it could have come off the road and it showed no signs of slowing down.”
Witness Emma Rushton tells Sky News about a truck 'attack' at a crowded Christmas market in Berlin https://t.co/QVYtoKaRvK
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 19, 2016
Another witness presumed to be the Berlin Morgenpost live stream videographer said “I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos…many injured people,” Jan Hollitzer, deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, told CNN. “It was really traumatic.”
— Emma Rushton (@ERushton) December 19, 2016
— Polla Garmiany (@PollaGarmiany) December 19, 2016
What we know so far
Here’s what we can tell you about tonight’s fatal collision:
A lorry crashed into a busy Christmas market in Breitscheidplatz, Berlin, at around 8.15pm (local time) tonight
Police confirmed that nine people died during the incident, with many more injured
The truck tore through festive booths, seating and wooden stands outside the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, in the west of the city
A large Scania truck with its windscreen smashed on the pavement was pictured alongside the market
Berlin police say one of those killed was a passenger in the lorry
One person, possibly the driver, was arrested near the crash scene, officers added
Federal prosecutors, who handle terrorism cases, have taken over the investigation, according to justice minister Heiko Maas, who added in a tweet ‘we are mourning with the relatives’ of the victims.
- Police have warned that people stay inside but have released a tweet saying that there are no indications of further dangerous incidents.
Currently, there are no indications of further dangerous situations in the city near #Breitscheidplatz.
— PolizeiBerlinEinsatz (@PolizeiBerlin_E) December 19, 2016