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At Least 9 Dead, 50 Injured After Truck Driven Into Berlin Christmas Market, Police Say

German police said at least nine people were dead and at least 50 people were injured. Police said a possible suspect was in custody.

German police said at least nine people were dead and at least 50 people were injured after a truck barreled into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin.

NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reported the truck had Polish license plates and that dozens of ambulances and hundreds of rescue workers were on the scene.

Soraya reported police said a suspect was in custody and asked residents to stay indoors and not spread rumors.

The Berlin Police department tweeted the truck had been driven onto the sidewalk of the market, which was near the Gedaechtniskirche, or Memorial Church, in western Berlin and asked that people avoid the market area.

“We heard a really loud bang and saw some of the Christmas lights to our left starting to be pulled down,” witness Emma Rushton told Sky News. “And then we saw the articulated vehicle going through people and through the stalls and just pulling everything down. And then everything went dark.”

A “suspicious person” was arrested near the scene, police said, adding that “whether it is the driver of the truck, is currently under consideration.” In a separate tweet, they said that “the passenger of the truck, who drove to the Christmas market … died on the spot.”

They did not elaborate further on the relationship between the person who died on the spot and the person who was arrested. It is not clear how many people were in the truck.

 

 

 

 

Germany’s Federal Prosecutor General has taken charge of the investigation, according to Deutsche Welle. Federal prosecutors “handle terrorism cases,” The Associated Press reported, though authorities have not characterized the incident as an attack.

A video apparently shot at the market after the incident and posted on Facebook by the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper appeared to show sidewalk kiosks damaged and flattened, and rescue workers and police on the scene. Sirens blared in the background.

 

This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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