Image: Twitter - @NatashaBertrand
On Monday night, a truck crashed into a busy Christmas market in Berlin, killing at least 12 people and left over 50 others injured in what the authorities said was a possible terror attack.
Ambulances and heavily armed police rushed to the scene to aid the victims and be on the lookout for any possible new attack. Prior to the incident, the market square was lively and bustling with tourists due to the festive season.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘attack’ yet, although there are many things pointing to one,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told public television.
Witnesses recounted the horrifying incident, saying that it caused panic, pandemonium and scenes of carnage. “I just saw this huge black truck speeding through the markets, crushing so many people and then all the lights went out and everything was destroyed. I could hear screaming and then we all froze. Then suddenly people started to move and lift all the wreckage off people, trying to help whoever was there,” a witness, Trisha O’Neill, told Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
A German police spokeswoman told AFP that a man who was driving the truck had been detained while the passenger was dead. Police later identified the passenger as a Polish national and the man behind the wheel was an asylum seeker from Afghanistan or Pakistan who arrived in Germany in February.
Although there are no signs of any possible dangers in that area, the authorities have urged the public to stay away from the scene for their own safety.