A Christmas market in Berlin was the site of a truck crash that killed at least 12 people while injuring nearly 50 others in what’s being called an act of terrorism.
A tractor-trailer crashed into a crowd of Christmas shoppers at the central city market in Berlin on Monday, according to the New York Daily News.
Authorities are investigating the crash as a terrorist attack, CNN reported.
“There’s no way it was an accident,” witness Emma Rushton told CNN, adding that she “saw at least 10 people” injured and laid out on the ground after the crash.
Rushton said the truck appeared to be traveling at least 40 mph when it crashed into pedestrians and holiday items before coming to a halt.
Another witness said they saw bodies underneath the truck.
“I think everybody thought there was a terrorist attack happening,” witness Shandana Durrani told CNN. “People dropped what they were carrying and ran for cover. It seemed like the truck just jumped the curb and took a wrong turn and barreled through the crowd.”
Durrani, who was just about 20 feet from the crash, said it might have been a mere text message that saved her life.
“I ran behind a stall to get away – but there was really no place to go because it was happening so fast,” she said.
Police said they later arrested a man who was located near the scene of the crash, as he’s suspected to have been the driver of the truck, The New York Times noted.
The truck was reportedly stolen from a worksite in Poland, which is about two hours from Berlin. A passenger, identified as a Polish national, was found dead in the truck when authorities arrived to the scene.
Ariel Zurawski, the owner of the truck company, said the truck was carrying a steel shipment and could have been hijacked before the incident, CNN noted.
“My scenario is that they did something to him and hijacked this truck,” said Zurawski, referring to his cousin, who regularly operates the truck.
The crash was similar to the July attack that took place in Nice, France, where a truck driver plowed into a large crowd, killing more than 80 people during Bastille Day celebrations.
The driver in the July attack was never officially linked to the Islamic State, but the killer appeared to be inspired by the group, the Times said.
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