BERLIN — German police say they believe that a car was deliberately driven into a Carnival parade in a small town and the suspect is a local man.
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Police say that dozens of people, including children were injured, several of them seriously when the slammed into a crowd at the Carnival procession in Volkmarsen, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
Police told the dpa news agency that no deaths have been reported in the crash in Volkmarsen, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin. Police said they don't have a specific number of injuries yet and they refused to release any details on the driver.
Police told the dpa news agency it wasn't yet clear whether the driver had suffered some sort of a medical issue, if there was a mechanical problem with the car or whether the vehicle was intentionally driven into the crowd.
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 a 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.
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.