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Dublin: 11 °C Thursday 21 June, 2018
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Four people dead and 15 wounded after Stockholm truck attack

Police have arrested one person in connection to the incident, which the Swedish Prime Minister said seems to be a terrorist attack.

Sweden Truck Crash Source: Fredrik Sandberg/AP

Updated at 8.10pm

FOUR PEOPLE ARE dead and 15 are wounded after a beer truck crashed into an upscale department store in central Stockholm today.

Police have arrested one person ”that may have links to the incident in central Stockholm” but said they couldn’t give more information at this time.

Police are also looking to speak with a man captured on video surveillance cameras near the scene of the attack.

pjimage (3) Source: Police/TT via AP

According to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, all indications were that it was a terror attack.

Sweden has been attacked. All indications are that it is an act of terrorism. Be vigilant, and listen to the police information.

The incident happened on Drottninggatan – a pedestrianised main street in the centre of the city.

According to Swedish police, the subway and commuter trains are bringing people away from the city centre, and returning empty to carry more people out.

The city of Stockholm says it will open rooms for those who cannot make it home tonight because of disruptions in public transport.

The Irish Embassy in Sweden says they’re aware of an ongoing incident in Stockholm, and advise those with concerns to ring the Embassy on 08-5450 4040 or ring HQ Dublin on 00353 1 408 2000.

‘Like a bomb’

Sweden Truck Crash Source: Anders Wiklund/TT News Agency

One witness identified only as Dimitris told the Aftonbladet daily the truck came “out of nowhere.”

I couldn’t see if anyone was driving but it was out of control. I saw at least two people get run down. I ran as fast as I could away from there.

Another shopper, 66-year-old Leander Nordling, was at Ahlens when he suddenly heard a loud bang.

“It sounded like a bomb exploding and smoke starting pouring in through the main entrance,” he told daily Aftonbladet.

He and fellow shoppers took refuge in a supply closet inside the department store.

“After that the building was evacuated … There were a lot of guards who took care of us outside and they urged us to leave the scene immediately,” Nordling said.

Video footage taken from above showed scores of people streaming down the street in terror with smoke coming out of the upscale Ahlens department store on Drottninggatan Street, which the truck smashed into.

The building includes several stores at street-level. “We stood inside a shoe store and heard something … and then people started to scream,” witness Jan Granroth told the Aftonbladet.

Photos from the scene showed a beer truck sticking out of the department store, and Aftonbladet daily reported that Swedish beer maker Spendrups said one of its trucks had been carjacked earlier today.

Sweden Truck Crash Source: Andreas Schyman

“Police received a call from SOS Alarm that a person in a vehicle has injured other people on Drottninggatan,” police wrote on Twitter.

The incident occurred just before 2pm Irish time at the corner of the Ahlens department store and the city’s biggest pedestrian street, above-ground from Stockholm’s central subway station.

Video images show an area blocked off by police and crowds gathering around the police cordon. Police have, however, told people to avoid the city centre.

Police urge people to stay home and avoid the city. Spread this to those you know.

Helicopters could be heard hovering in the sky over central Stockholm, and a large number of police cars and ambulances were dispatched to the scene, witnesses said.

Reaction

Sweden Truck Crash Source: AP

Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said he is shocked by the “maniac act of terror” in Stockholm.

Every terror attack is to be equally condemned. But it touches us deeply when such an attack takes place in our Nordic neighborhood.

Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini described on Twitter the events in Stockholm as “a shocking incident” and the Helsinki police said separately that it will tighten security measures in the center of the Finnish capital.

Germany stands with Sweden against terror, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said.

Our thoughts go out to the people in Stockholm, to the injured, their relatives, rescuers and police. We stand together against terror.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny his and the Irish government’s solidarity to Prime Minister Löfven and the Swedish people, calling the attackers “cowards”.

Enda Kenny Sweden Source: Government Press Office

Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan re-enforced the Taoiseach’s statement, and said that they had ”no information to indicate that any Irish citizens have been affected” in the attack.

President Vladimir Putin said in a statement: ”In our country, we are well familiar with the crimes of international terrorism.

At this difficult time, Russians weep with the Swedish people.

EU Council President Donald Tusk said “my heart is in Stockholm this afternoon. My thoughts are with the victims and their families and friends of today’s terrible attack.”

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that “one of Europe’s most vibrant and colorful cities appears to have been struck by those wishing it – and our very way of life – harm.”

Juncker said “an attack on any of our (EU) member states is an attack on us all” and that Sweden can count on EU help.

According to Swedish news The Local, Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf has released a statement about the incident.

“I and the entire royal family have sadly been informed about this afternoon’s attack in Stockholm. The background to and extent of the incident is not yet know. We are following developments but our thoughts already go to those affected and their families.”

With reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha, AFP and the Press Association

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