Berlin car crash: At least one dead and nine seriously injured after vehicle driven into crowd in Charlottenburg

A teacher was killed and nine other people were seriously injured when a man drove a car into a German school group standing in a popular Berlin shopping district.

The man drove into people on a street corner around 10:30am on Wednesday before getting the car back on the road and then crashing into a shop window a short distance away, police spokesman Thilo Cablitz said.

Berlin’s top security official Iris Spranger said the woman killed was a teacher on a school trip with students from the central German state of Hesse.

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Five people sustained life-threatening injuries and another three were seriously injured, fire service spokesman Adrian Wentzel confirmed. Police said more than a dozen people had been injured.

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Berlin car crash: John Barrowman shares footage from scene as he gives eyewitnes...

The driver was apparently detained by passers-by before being arrested by a police officer who was near the scene, Mr Cablitz said. He said officers were trying to determine whether he had deliberately driven into pedestrians or whether it was an accident, possibly caused by a medical emergency.

Police later tweeted the driver was a 29-year-old German-Armenian who lived in Berlin.

Ms Spranger said posters were found in the man’s car “in which he expressed views about Turkey”.

Police stand near a body in a cordoned-off area where a car ploughed into a crowd near Tauentzienstrasse in central Berlin, on June 8, 2022. A police spokeswoman said the driver was detained at the scene after the car ploughed into a shop front along busy shopping street Tauentzienstrasse. It was not clear whether the crash was intentional. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP) (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Large numbers of rescue vehicles and first responders were at the scene.

Berlin mayor Franziska Giffey tweeted she was “deeply shocked by this incident” and said authorities were keeping an open mind about possible motives.

American-British actor John Barrowman, who was in a nearby shop with his partner at the time of the crash, described the scene as “carnage”.

The Doctor Who and Dancing on Ice star initially told his Twitter followers: "We think we have witnessed a terrorist attack here in Berlin”

A police spokeswoman said the driver was detained at the scene after the car ploughed into a shop front in a busy shopping street in Charlottenburg district. It was not clear whether the crash was intentional. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP) (Photo by ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)

He later said in an interview with the BBC: “After we heard a noise, we were in a store that was across from the final point of the car going into the store front.

“We saw a car that had careened through a cafe area and into a store front window and we walked around thinking it was just a car accident. We saw that the person in the car had been pulled out, and there was another person on the ground.

“We turned and started walking down the street and it wasn’t until we got midway down the street that we saw the dead body in the middle of the road and we kept walking and the police then flew into the area.”

Speaking about the scene a little further down the road, Barrowman said: “There was multiple people on the ground and I am sure that’s where the life-threatening injuries happened because I saw someone being resuscitated, I saw someone being literally thrown onto a stretcher and put into an ambulance.

"There was multiple bodies on the ground there, some people getting up and limping away.”

The incident happened at one end of the Kurfuerstendamm shopping boulevard and next to the Breitscheidplatz square, where an extremist carried out a vehicle attack on a Christmas market in 2016, resulting in 13 deaths.

In a 2019 incident in central Berlin, an SUV ploughed into a group of pedestrians in central Berlin, killing four people. The driver had suffered an epileptic seizure and veered onto the pavement.