BERLIN, GERMANY – At least nine people have been killed and more than 50 injured after a lorry ploughed through a crowd of shoppers at 40mph in a busy Christmas market in Berlin.
German police at the scene have indicated the incident is likely to be a terror attack.
The vehicle sped through a crowd of shoppers at the market on Breitscheidplatz Square near the Kurfuerstendamm Avenue in west Berlin.
The driver of the truck is now in police custody after initially fleeing the scene, while a passenger in the cab died in the crash.
Police in Berlin are now urging people to stay in their homes.
‘I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos…many injured people,’ Jan Hollitzer, deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, told CNN.
‘It was really traumatic.’
Horrifying pictures and videos from Berlin show emergency services racing to the scene and the devastating aftermath as the lorry ploughed through the market.
Terrified market-goers have tweeted horrifying images from the scene of the incident which comes an hour after the Russian ambassador was shot dead in Ankara.
British tourist Emma Rushton tweeted from the scene: ‘Lorry just ploughed through Christmas market in #berlin.
‘There is no road nearby. People crushed. I am safe. I am safe’.
She saw the lorry rush past her at speed and said it could not have been an accident.
She told Sky News she only missed being caught in the chaos because she had climbed up some steps to take a seat.
Ms Rushton said: ‘The stall that we bought our mulled wine from was completely crushed. People were tearing off wooden panels to get out.’
She added: ‘It was not an accident. It was going 40mph, it was in the middle of the market. There was no way that it could have come off the road and it showed no signs of slowing down.’
The incident evoked memories of an attack in France in July when Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people.
The attack was claimed by Islamic State.
Both the Berliner Zeitung newspaper and the Berliner Morgenpost reported the truck ran into the market outside the landmark Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church this evening.
A photo posted by the Morgenpost showed damaged tables and stalls.
The Berliner Zeitung said police believed there to be multiple injuries, but police could not immediately be reached to confirm the death toll or number injured.