Car Hits Crowd At Carnival In German Town; Dozens Injured

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Emergency cars stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — A man intentionally drove a car into a crowd of people at a Carnival parade in a small German town Monday, injuring dozens of people including children, police said.

The driver was arrested, but police couldn’t immediately provide details about the man’s motivations for crashing into the celebrations in Volkmarsen, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin.

“We are working on the assumption that it was a deliberate act,” police spokesman Henning Hinn said, but added that further details of the driver’s motives weren’t yet known.

Hinn said that “there were several dozen injured, among them some seriously and sadly also children.”

Some of the injuries were life-threatening, he said.

Emergency responders set up a makeshift clinic in a town pharmacy to treat casualties with minor injuries, the regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported. Witnesses said the car drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, according to the paper.

Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local license plates on a sidewalk, its front windshield badly smashed and hood dented, and its hazard lights blinking, while emergency crews walked by. Forensic experts could be seen taking photos and measurements around the crashed car, walking around fragments of Carnival costumes that littered the ground.

The crash came amid the height of Germany’s celebration of Carnival, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz.

Volkmarsen, which has a population of 7,000, is east of Duesseldorf, near Kassel.

Police in Western Hesse state tweeted that all other Carnival parades in the state Monday were ended after the crash as a precaution.

Police shut down the area to allow emergency crews to deal with the crash. Police said they couldn’t immediately provide further details and urged people not to spread “unconfirmed reports.”

Police stand next to the scene of the accident with the car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
Police and rescue workers attend the scene of an accident, after a car crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured according to the police, and the driver detained by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of a car crash at the carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. A car slammed into a crowd at a Carnival procession in a German town on Monday, injuring several people, police said. The driver was arrested, but a cause for the crash wasn’t given. Police told the dpa news agency that no deaths have been reported in the crash in Volkmarsen, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)

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