Shock in downtown Berlin: a car drives into a group of people. A woman dies. There are several injured, some in critical condition. The background is still unclear.
This article is continuously updated.
A vehicle drove into a crowd and a shop in western Berlin city center. According to a fire department spokesman, a woman was killed. According to the fire department, five people suffered life-threatening injuries. There are a total of eight seriously injured, said a spokesman. According to information from the DPA news agency, a group of students is also affected. The fire brigade had initially spoken of 30 injuries. The vehicle is a car, said a police spokesman.
Berlin: driver of the car arrested by the police
A few hours after the fatal incident, the exact process becomes clearer. According to the police, the man drove his small Renault car at around 10:26 a.m. on the corner of Ku’damm and Rankestrasse onto the sidewalk of Ku’damm and into a group of people. Then, according to the information, he drove back to the intersection and almost 200 meters further east on Tauentzienstrasse. Shortly before the corner of Marburger Strasse, he steered the car off the road onto the sidewalk again, touched another car, crossed Marburger Strasse and ended up in the window of a perfumery shop at Tauentzienstrasse 16.
See the map: the course of the incident according to the Berlin police
The fire brigade was on site with 60 emergency services, said the Berlin fire brigade. It is currently unclear whether it was an accident or an intentional act, writes the Berlin police on Twitter. The police have since arrested the driver. That said police spokesman Thilo Cablitz on site. The man was initially held by passers-by. The police announced at noon that he was a 29-year-old from Berlin. She did not give any further details. The man will be questioned and it will be checked whether it is an intentional act or a traffic accident, or whether a medical emergency is also possible.
Cablitz said: “We do not know at this point in time whether it is an intentional act or a traffic accident.” Indicators that would speak for an intentional act would now be compared, among other things, with the evidence and witness statements, Cablitz said at noon. “But I don’t want to speculate,” he said, referring to the distance between the two accident sites. Cablitz also recalled the serious accident on Invalidenstrasse in Berlin a few years ago. A large vehicle rolled over there in 2019 and killed four people on the sidewalk. The driver had been driving a month before the accident despite suffering from epilepsy and undergoing brain surgery.
According to the fire brigade, the injured were initially cared for on site, the police spoke of a larger operation. The police cordoned off a large area of the area. There were several ambulances and police cars on site, according to a reporter from the DPA news agency. According to the police, 130 emergency services are on site. A police helicopter is also in action. The investigators want to get an overall picture of the situation on site, according to a police spokesman. A rescue helicopter was also seen. After the incident, a covered body lay near the corner of Kurfürstendamm, Rankestrasse and Tauentzienstrasse.
A silver Renault Clio can be seen parked in a shop window in a photo posted online. A spokeswoman for the Douglas perfumery chain confirmed the accident. There were no injuries in the store.
Two hours after the fatal incident, Chief of Police Barbara Slowik got an impression of what was happening on site. Slowik spoke to police officers on Ku’damm and had them explain the process. She then walked the 200 meters to the store where the car had gone.
The Berlin police are asking witnesses to send information, photos or videos to an information portal.
The police asks that no footage from the scene of the incident be distributed on the Internet.
Interior Senator: “I’m shocked”
Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger (SPD) was shocked by the incident with one dead and several injured near the Memorial Church. “I’m in the situation center and keep myself informed. My thoughts and my deepest sympathy are with all those affected!” Spranger tweeted on Wednesday. “I am shocked by the incident in Charlottenburg.”
Berlin’s governing mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) has promised support to those affected. “We will do everything we can to help those affected,” said Giffey. Everything will also be done to clarify what happened. “We know that we have one dead and ten seriously injured.” “I am deeply saddened by this devastating event this morning,” Giffey said. She also wanted to get an idea of the situation on site in the afternoon. “Now it is important that the injured are treated.” In addition, the relatives who are in shock need help and support. Giffey thanked the emergency services.
In December 2016, an Islamist assassin drove into a Christmas market near the Memorial Church. At that time, twelve people died and more than 70 were injured. When asked about this, Giffey said: “It’s a situation where you think: For God’s sake, not again! Whether that was a coincidence, the location, whether it was a deliberately chosen location, we don’t know all that yet.”