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Car hits pedestrians in German city of Trier

At least two people have been killed and up to 15 injured after a car drove into pedestrians in a suspected attack in the German city of Trier. 

A 51-year-old German man was arrested on Tuesday afternoon after a car drove more than half a mile through the city's main pedestrian area. 

A witness told local paper Trierische Volksfreund that a dark grey Range Rover had driven at high speed into crowds, sending some people 'flying into the air'. 

Trier mayor Wolfram Leibe told regional broadcaster SWR that the driver had gone on 'a rampage' that had caused at least two deaths and 15 injuries, but police said his motive was not yet clear. 

Leibe said some of the injured people were seriously hurt and were being taken to hospital, saying he was hoping for their survival, but police say the final death toll will be higher than the initial two. 

Pictures published by German media appeared to show a person being pinned to the ground next to a damaged car after the incident in Trier 

A square is blocked by police and fire engines following the incident in Trier on Tuesday 

The car was stopped and the driver arrested, police said, before urging people to avoid the area, while the mayor said evidence was being secured at the scene.  

Pictures published by German media appeared to show a person being pinned to the ground next to a damaged car, which is thought to have driven for more than half a mile before being stopped. 

Police spokesman Uwe Konz said that it remained unclear what exactly happened, saying 'the background (to the incident) still needs to be clarified'. 

Another spokesman, Karl-Peter Jochem, said the driver had 'indiscriminately' run people down after driving into the pedestrian are.  

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman called today's news 'shocking' and said the government's thoughts were with the injured people and relatives of victims.  

Officers warned people to avoid the scene, and said they are on the scene alongside ambulance crews, while helicopters were also hovering over the city.  

In addition to the injured people there were many other 'traumatised' pedestrians who had witnessed what happened, the mayor said, but there is no further dange.

Emergency services at the scene of the crash in a pedestrian area which has been sealed off 

At least two people were killed and several injured in Trier in south-western Germany today 

Footage showed police vans and other emergency vehicles parked on a wide shopping street in Trier, a large section of which appeared to have been cleared.

Shoppers were seen huddling outside stores festooned with Christmas decorations, while sirens could be heard in the distance.

While Trier is usually home to one of Germany's most popular Christmas markets, the event was cancelled this year because of the pandemic. 

The incident brought back memories of the 2016 truck rampage at a Berlin Christmas market that left 12 people dead.

The driver on that occasion, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker, was a supporter of the Islamic State jihadist group.

In August 2019, six people were injured in a series of motorway accidents in Berlin in what prosecutors described as a suspected Islamist attack.

More to follow... 

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