Berlin Breitscheidplatz: Lorry kills nine at Christmas market

Media captionFootage shows the aftermath at the scene

A lorry has ploughed into a Christmas market in the heart of Berlin, killing nine people and injuring many more, police say.

Police now say they suspect it was a deliberate attack. Video footage from the scene shows stalls knocked over and people lying injured on the ground.

The driver is believed to be under arrest while the co-driver died.

The market is at Breitscheidplatz, close to the Kurfuerstendamm, the main shopping street in the city’s west.

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It is situated at the foot of the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, which was kept as a bombed-out ruin after World War Two.

As emergency vehicles filled the area, Berlin police appealed to the public to avoid the area and stay at home.

Facebook has set up a “Safety Check” page for people affected to let their loved ones know they are safe.

‘A big noise’

A British eyewitness, Mike Fox, told The Associated Press at the scene that the large lorry had missed him by only about 3m as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.

“It was definitely deliberate,” said the tourist, visiting from Birmingham.

He said he had helped people who appeared to have broken limbs, and that others were trapped under Christmas stands.

Jan Hollitzer, deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, told CNN: “I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos… many injured people. It was really traumatic.”

The Berliner Zeitung reports that police have set up a meeting point for relatives at the scene.

A photographer for the DPA news agency said that armed police were at an entrance to the nearby zoo.

The incident evoked memories of the lorry attack on Bastille Day crowds in the French city of Nice on 14 July, when 86 people were killed. That attack was claimed by so-called Islamic State.

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The incident is in the heart of West Berlin

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Berlin Breitscheidplatz: Lorry kills nine at Christmas market

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