Five killed, including baby, as car ploughs into pedestrian zone in Germany - UPDATED-1

Five killed, including baby, as car ploughs into pedestrian zone in Germany - UPDATED-1
  • Clock-gray 09:38
  • calendar-gray 02 December 2020

Five people including a nine-month-old baby were killed and up to 15 injured on Tuesday when a speeding car ploughed into a pedestrian area in the western German city of Trier in what authorities said appeared to be a deliberate act, APA reports citing Reuters.

Witnesses said people screamed in panic and some were thrown into the air by the car as it crashed through the shopping zone.

“We have arrested one person, one vehicle has been secured,” police said, adding that a 51-year-old German suspect from the Trier area had been overpowered within minutes of the incident and was now being questioned.

Prosecutor Peter Fritzen later told a news conference the suspect had drunk a significant amount of alcohol, and authorities were not working on the assumption that there was any Islamist militant motive to the incident.

Trier Mayor Wolfram Leibe said: “It looks as if we are talking about a suspect with mental issues, but we should not pass premature judgement.”

Authorities said a more thorough assessment of the suspect’s mental health would be necessary to determine whether he could be held criminally liable.

The suspect had spent the last few nights in the vehicle and did not seem to have a fixed address, Trier deputy police chief Franz-Dieter Ankner said. He had borrowed the vehicle, which was registered in someone else’s name, and did not appear to have a police record.

Mayor Leibe said a nine-month-old baby was among the dead.

The interior minister of Rhineland-Palatinate state, Roger Lewentz, said two women aged 25 and 73 and a man, 45, all from Trier, were also killed. Later, police said a fifth person had also died, with German media reporting that the latest victim was a 52-year old woman. Several of the injured were in critical condition.

 

***01:04

A car has ploughed through a pedestrian area in the western city of Trier, killing four people including a nine-month-old baby, police say, APA reports citing BBC.

The driver, a 51-year-old local man, has been arrested. The prosecutor said the suspect had drunk a significant amount of alcohol.

Authorities said they were not working on the assumption that the incident was politically or religiously motivated.

The city's mayor described the scene as "horrible".

Witnesses said people screamed in panic and some were thrown in the air by an SUV travelling at high speed in Trier's Fleischstrasse pedestrianised street, near the city's famous Roman gate, the Porta Nigra.

The incident happened at around 13:45 local time (12:45 GMT), and the suspect drove for 1km (0.62 miles) "hitting people at random on his way" before being stopped by a police car, Trier police spokesman Karl-Peter Jochem said earlier.

The victims were two women, aged 25 and 73, a 45-year-old man and a nine-month-old baby.

***01.12.2020/18:54

A car drove into a pedestrian zone in the southwestern German city of Trier on Tuesday, killing two people and seriously injuring 15 others, officials said, APA reports citing the AP.

The driver was arrested and the vehicle was impounded, Trier police tweeted. Police and rescue crews were on the scene and authorities told people to avoid the city center.

Mayor Wolfram Leibe told the SWR broadcaster that in addition to the two dead, 15 people had suffered serious injuries.

No details were immediately available on the cause of the crash, and police didn’t answer their phones or email. Trier is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Frankfurt, near the border with Luxembourg. The city of about 110,000 people is known for its Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, which is near the scene of the crash, and as the birthplace of Karl Marx.

Zumrud Pashkin

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