Eighteen children among those injured as car ploughed into crowd at German carnival

George Martin
·2-min read

Eighteen children were among those injured after a man drove his car into a crowd at a carnival in the German town of Volkmarsen.

A total of 35 people are still in hospital following the incident, while seventeen others have been treated and released.

Police and rescue workers stand next to the scene of the accident with a car that is said to have crashed into a carnival parade in Volkmarsen, central Germany, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Several people have been injured, according to the police. The driver had been arrested by the police. (Uwe Zucchi/dpa via AP)
The scene of the crash in Volkmarsen, central Germany (AP)

Police are still looking for a motive behind the 29-year-old suspect’s actions, but they believe it was a deliberate attack.

According to Bild newspaper, the man was from the local area and was also injured.

Police officers investigate the car of the man who drove into a carnival procession on February 24, 2020 in Volkmarsen near Kassel, central Germany. - Several people were injured when a car drove into a carnival procession in Volksmarsen, police said, adding that the driver had been arrested. (Photo by INA FASSBENDER / AFP) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Forensics officers comb the suspect's car (Getty)
25 February 2020, Hessen, Volkmarsen: Henning Hinn (M), spokesman for the police headquarters of Northern Hesse, makes a statement. The day before, a man had driven his car into a carnival parade and injured numerous people, including children. The Frankfurt public prosecutor's office is investigating an attempted homicide. Photo: Uwe Zucchi/dpa (Photo by Uwe Zucchi/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Police spokesperson Henning Hinn gives a statement on Tuesday morning. (Getty)

He is reportedly in hospital with serious head injuries, and police have not yet been able to question him.

The crash in the town of about 7,000 near Kassel, north of Frankfurt, came at the height of Germany’s carnival season, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz.

All other parades in the central state of Hesse were ended on Monday as a precaution.

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A spokesman for Frankfurt prosecutors, Alexander Badle, said in a statement that “about 30 people” were injured, including children. They were taken to surrounding hospitals, some with life-threatening injuries.

The suspect was also injured, said Mr 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.”

25 February 2020, Hessen, Volkmarsen: A police car passes under a garland of balloons. The day before, a man had driven his car into a carnival parade and injured numerous people, including children. The Frankfurt public prosecutor's office is investigating an attempted homicide. Photo: Uwe Zucchi/dpa (Photo by Uwe Zucchi/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The incident took place at the height of German carnival season (Getty)

“This is a terrible act committed against people who simply wanted to celebrate Carnival,” said Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the state of Hesse.

He declined to comment on reports that a second person had been detained.

Chancellor Angela Merkel sent her condolences to those injured in the crash, wishing them a speedy and full recovery. She also thanked police and medical personnel involved.

Read more: 35 people still in hospital following German carnival crash

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 with local licence plates on a pavement, its front windscreen badly smashed and bonnet dented, and its hazard lights blinking, while emergency crews walked by.