Car hits crowd at German carnival; several injured

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Published: February 24, 2020 9:36:54 PM

The regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported that witnesses said the driver drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, but that it wasn't yet clear whether he intentionally headed toward the crowd.

People react at the scene after a car ploughed into a carnival parade injuring several people in Volkmarsen, Germany February 24, 2020. (Reuters)

A car slammed into a crowd at a Carnival procession in a German town on Monday, injuring several people, police said. A large number of police are at the scene in Volkmarsen, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin, and the driver was arrested, Northern Hesse police said. Local media reported at least a dozen injuries, including children, but police couldn’t immediately confirm the information.

Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local license plates and its hazard lights blinking on the sidewalk, while emergency crews walked by. The crash occurred on the south side of the town, outside a supermarket.

The crash came amid the height of Germany’s celebration of Carnival, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz. Several cities in western Germany canceled their traditional Carnival parades at short notice on Sunday because of inclement weather. Volkmarsen, which has a population of 7,000, is east of Duesseldorf, near Kassel.

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” about the crash. Police say they haven’t received any reports of any deaths, and don’t have a specific number of injuries yet. They say it is too early to say what caused the car to crash into the crowd.

The regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported that witnesses said the driver drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, but that it wasn’t yet clear whether he intentionally headed toward the crowd.

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