Germany car attack: Vehicle drives into crowd during Volkmarsen carnival parade

Police working on assumption crash was ‘a deliberate act’ as children among injured

Conrad Duncan
Monday 24 February 2020 16:50
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Emergency services at crash scene after car hits crowd in Volkmarsen

At least 30 people have been injured after a car drove into a carnival parade in Germany in what has been described as a deliberate crash, according to local reports.

The driver of the car has been arrested and children are among the injured people at the scene in Volkmarsen, about 280km southwest of Berlin, police have said.

The German newspaper Bild has reported that about a third of those injured have been seriously hurt, although an exact number of serious injuries has not been confirmed by authorities.

Henning Hinn, a police spokesperson, has said officials are working “on the assumption that it was a deliberate act”.

“There were several dozen injured, among them some seriously and sadly also children,” Mr Hinn said, adding that some of the injuries were life-threatening.

The incident occurred during “Rosenmontagszug”, a German carnival parade which takes place in cities across the country on the Monday before Ash Wednesday.

It comes less than a week after a gunman shot down 11 people, including himself, in one of the worst racist attacks in Germany since the Second World War.

Earlier on Monday, commentary on racism featured prominently among carnival floats in western German cities following the far-right attack in Hanau near Frankfurt last week.

In Cologne, one float depicted a weeping carnival jester holding a heart with the slogan “our heart beats for Hanau”.

In a joint statement from the General Prosecutor’s Office in Frankfurt and police in the state of Hesse, officials said the motive of the crash was being investigated.

“The investigation – especially on the background of the crime – is ongoing,” the statement said.

“No information can currently be given on the motive in particular; it is determined in all directions.”

The suspect is a 29-year-old German citizen who has received medical treatement due to injuries suffered in connection to the incident.

The regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported soon after the crash that witnesses said the driver drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade.

German media has also cited witnesses who said they had the impression that the driver was targetting children – however, this has not been confirmed by authorities.

Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local license plates and its hazard lights blinking on the pavement, while emergency crews walked by.

The town of Volkmarsen, which has a population of 7,000, is near the city of Kassel in central Germany.

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