BERLIN – A driver killed one person and injured more than a dozen schoolchildren Wednesday morning when he struck a group of pedestrians in Berlin, authorities said.
Update 3:27 a.m. EDT June 9: Berlin Mayor Franziska Giffey described Wednesday’s deadly incident as an “amok act by a really seriously pyschologically impaired person,” The Associated Press is reporting. Investigators are looking into what influenced the driver’s actions and the “partially confused statements” he has made, Giffey said.
Top Berlin security official Iris Spranger said authorities discovered posters about Turkey in the driver’s vehicle, according to the AP. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the posters were connected to the incident, Giffey said.
Update 2 p.m. EDT June 8: In a statement, police identified the person killed as a schoolteacher and said those injured included 14 schoolchildren from Hessen, a state about 230 miles southwest of Berlin.
Officials with the Berlin Fire Brigade said six people had injuries that appeared to be life-threatening while three others were seriously hurt as a result of the crash.
Police spokesman Thilo Cablitz told The Associated Press that a driver struck people standing on a street corner around 10:30 a.m. before getting the car back onto the road and crashing into a shop window about a block away. Officials said a 29-year-old German man of Armenian man living Berlin had been apprehended after he was held by passers-by at the scene of the crash.
It remained unclear Wednesday afternoon whether the crash was an accident or intentional.
“Part of the reconstruction of the event, of course, is to look at the extent to which this was an intentional act or a traffic accident that may have occurred because of an exceptional medical situation,” Cablitz said, according to The New York Times.
Authorities continue to investigate.
Original report: One person has died and at least eight others are hurt after a vehicle struck a group of pedestrians in Berlin, authorities said.
According to The Associated Press, the incident occurred about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Kurfuerstendamm shopping district, Berlin police said. A driver struck multiple people on a street corner before driving into a store window, authorities said.
Bystanders detained the suspected driver, a 29-year-old German-Armenian who lives in Berlin, authorities told the AP. He is now in police custody, officials said. It was not immediately clear whether the driver purposely or accidentally struck the victims, the news agency reported.
A fire official told a German TV station that five of the victims suffered life-threatening injuries, while three others sustained serious wounds in the incident, the AP reported. Police, however, said more than a dozen people were hurt, according to the news agency.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.