Car hits crowd at Carnival in German town; dozens injured

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DAVID RISING and FRANK JORDANS
Associated Press
BERLIN (AP) — A man intentionally drove a car into a crowd of people at a Carnival parade in a small town in central Germany, injuring dozens of people including children, officials said Monday.
Prosecutors said the driver, a 29-year-old local man, was arrested at the scene of the incident in Volkmarsen, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin. He is being investigated on suspicion of attempted homicide.
A spokesman for Frankfurt prosecutors, Alexander Badle, said in a statement that “about 30 people” were injured, among them children. They were taken to surrounding hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries.
The suspect was also injured, said Badle.
“The investigation, especially into the circumstances of the crime, continues,” he said. “In particular, no information can yet be provided about a motive. The investigation is exploring all avenues.”
Emergency responders set up a makeshift clinic in a town pharmacy to treat casualties with minor injuries, the regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported. Witnesses said the car drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, according to the paper.
Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local license plates on a sidewalk, its front windshield badly smashed and hood dented, and its hazard lights blinking, while emergency crews walked by. Forensic experts could be seen taking photos and measurements around the crashed car, walking around fragments of Carnival costumes that littered the ground.
The crash came amid the height of Germany’s celebration of Carnival, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz.
Volkmarsen, which has a population of 7,000, is east of Duesseldorf, near Kassel.
Police in Western Hesse state tweeted that all other Carnival parades in the state Monday were ended after the crash as a precaution.