Driver hits school group in Berlin; teacher killed, 9 people injured.
Authorities say a man slammed his car into a group of German students in a renowned Berlin retail center on Wednesday, killing one teacher and badly wounding nine others.
According to police spokesperson Thilo Cablitz, the man crashed into people on a street corner around 10:30 a.m. local time, got back on the road, and then crashed into a shop window about a block away.
Iris Spranger, Berlin’s senior security official, said the woman slain was a teacher on a school trip to Berlin with secondary school students from Hesse, in central Germany.
According to fire department spokeswoman Adrian Wentzel, six persons had life-threatening injuries and three others were gravely injured. Police said 14 Hesse students were among those who had injuries of varied degrees of severity, but could not provide a total number.
The scene was characterized as “carnage” by American-British actor John Barrowman, who was at a neighboring store at the time of the incident.
The driver was detained and sent to the hospital.
According to Cablitz, the driver was presumably restrained by onlookers before being nabbed by a nearby police officer.
According to him, authorities are attempting to discover whether the individual intentionally struck pedestrians or if it was an accident caused by a medical issue.
The driver was eventually identified as a 29-year-old German-Armenian living in Berlin, according to police.
According to Spranger, posters “expressing thoughts about Turkey” were discovered in the man’s car.
Spranger later told regional public radio RBB that Germany’s domestic intelligence agency had no immediate information on the individual and that authorities were still investigating if he had previously been known to police.
“Of course, we must immediately clarify whether he is ill, whether he took medications, and so on,” she said, explaining why the driver was in the hospital.
“At this time, we can’t rule anything out… However, there is no claim to blame “Spranger remarked.
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The mayor warns against jumping to conclusions.
Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey expressed her “great dismay” at the occurrence, but advised against jumping to conclusions too quickly.
# Driver hits school group in Berlin.
“Before jumping to conclusions, I think it’s vital at this point to allow the police and fire departments perform their investigations,” the mayor added. “We want the most transparency possible, but we also want accurate information.”
Giffey said the incident brought back “awful memories” of a truck attack on the nearby Breitscheidplatz area more than five years ago. In 2016, an Islamic fanatic drove through a Christmas market, killing 13 people.
An SUV slammed into a group of pedestrians in central Berlin in 2019, killing four people. After having an epileptic seizure, the driver skidded onto the sidewalk.
In the evening, a memorial service for those killed or injured in Wednesday’s catastrophe was conducted in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Breitscheidplatz, which is close to the crash site.
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