2 people detained after car rams into crowd at German Carnival parade
A car rammed into a crowd at a German Carnival parade in the town of Volkmarsen on Monday, leaving 30 people injured, about a third of them children.
Two people have been detained, including the suspected driver of the vehicle.
Police said the car was deliberately steered into the parade by a local man on Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday, the height of the Carnival season. Police are investigating the incident as a case of attempted homicide.
Seven of the injured were in serious condition, Frankfurt Police Chief Gerhard Bereswill said.
District administrator and Carnival spectator Reinhard Kubat said that, upon hearing sirens, he ran toward the scene, passing crying people on the way.
“There were children lying all over the street,” he said.
Pubs in Volkmarsen that would normally have been full of revelers and music fell silent after the vehicular assault.
The mayor of Volkmarsen, Hartmut Linnekugel, said he was “deeply shocked” by the incident.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas both said their thoughts were with the injured. “[I wish] them, their families and all of those who were at the Rose Monday parade much strength,” Maas said, referring to the Monday before Ash Wednesday.
The suspected perpetrator who was driving came from the town itself, investigators in Frankfurt said.
The 29-year-old was not known to the authorities as an extremist, security sources said.
The newspaper Bild quoted a witness as saying that the driver had been surrounded by angry people with raised fists and that he had to be protected by police.
The man had driven at high speed into the parade. Local newspapers reported witnesses as saying that the driver had gone around a barrier and sped into the crowd.
The second person who was detained had apparently filmed the incident from behind the car, security sources said. It was not clear whether the man was filming the attack as an onlooker or was actually involved more directly in the incident.
Police in the state of Hesse appealed to those who had taken photographs and videos in Volkmarsen not to circulate them and to hold back from speculation.
Police said their investigations into the motive were proceeding in “all directions.”
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