Baby among five killed after car hits pedestrians in Germany
Five people including a baby have died and up to 15 were left injured after a car ploughed into a crowd at high speed in Germany.
A 51-year-old suspect was arrested after the SUV crashed through a pedestrian zone in the western city of Trier and ‘randomly ran over people’ at around 1.50pm.
Witnesses described seeing people, including a young child in a stroller, being flung into the air as the car struck them in the shopping zone.
The victims include a nine-month-old baby, two women, aged 25 and 73, and a 45-year-old man. The infant’s mother is injured in hospital, said police.
Four people are fighting for their lives in hospital, while five others suffered serious injuries, and another six had less serious wounds.
The public prosecutor said the suspect was drunk and ‘well over’ the limit when he ploughed through the crowds but there was no indication of a political or religious motive.
They added the driver appeared to be suffering from ‘psychological problems’ that ‘possibly played a role’ in the tragedy.
He had been living in recent days in the Land Rover that a friend had loaned him which he used to carry out the attack.
Mayor Wolfram Leibe called it ‘blackest day in Trier after the Second World War.’
He said through tears: ‘I just walked through the city centre and it was just horrible.
‘There is a trainer lying on the ground, and the girl it belongs to is dead.’
‘I can’t understand how someone gets the idea to drive through the city centre with an SUV to kill people,’ he added.
‘Kill people – a baby, nine months old to a woman 72 years old; what did these people do? They just wanted to go to the city, shop, and now they are dead.’
Malu Dreyer, the regional premier, said it was ‘so horrible’ that a child was among the dead, adding: ‘We are hoping and praying that the injured persons will survive and recover.’
The mayor told broadcaster N-TV that people who saw the incident were ‘totally traumatised’ and the street ‘looks a bit like after a war’.
Images and footage purportedly from Trier show a cobbled city centre road strewn with rubbish in the aftermath of the crash.
Footage from the scene showed people outside a shop apparently helping someone on the ground lying among scattered debris.
One eyewitness said a dark grey Range Rover was driving at high speed before people were thrown into the air, according to local media.
The driver, who was alone in the car, resisted arrest but was overpowered by police, authorities said.
German police warned people to stay away from the city centre, which has been cordoned off as helicopters circle overhead.
Parents were reportedly asked to pick their children up early from school.
Trier is Germany’s oldest city and was founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. It is about 120 miles west of Frankfurt, near the border with Luxembourg.
It has about 110,000 residents and is known for its Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, which is near the scene of the crash, and as the birthplace of Karl Marx.
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