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Nine people killed as truck ploughs into Berlin Christmas market

Many more have been injured. A suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby.

Updated at 10.15pm

Germany Christmas Market Source: Michael Sohn

POLICE IN GERMANY say that nine people are dead after a truck ploughed into a Christmas market in Berlin.

At least 50 people have been injured.

The DPA news agency is reporting that the incident was probably an attack.

Police said a suspect believed to be the driver was arrested nearby and a passenger was dead.

The incident happened at around 7pm Irish time at Breitscheidplatz, close to the Kurfuerstendamm shopping area.

Emma Rushton, a British journalist who was at the scene, said on Twitter that people had been crushed in the incident.

Germany Christmas Market Source: Michael Sohn

Television footage showed a large Scania truck with its windshield smashed out on the pavement alongside the market, with a swarm of ambulances nearby.

A large Christmas tree with a gold star on top was toppled over nearby in the street.

Witness Mike Fox told the Associated Press at the scene that the large truck missed him by only about three metres as it drove into the market, tearing through tables and wooden stands.

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

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

Police say they are still investigating whether the incident was an accident or an attack. People are being asked to stay at home in the aftermath of the tragedy.

Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller said the situation was under control, the Berlin Morgenpost reported. A spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was mourning for those killed.

There’s no indication of other “dangerous situations” in the city tonight, police have said.

“Currently, there are no indications of further dangerous situations in the city near Breitscheidplatz,” the force tweeted.

‘Ireland stands in solidarity’ 

In a statement tonight, Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said he was “horrified” by the loss of life in Berlin.

“I extend sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims. Our thoughts are also with those injured in this appalling incident,” Flanagan said.

“Ireland stands in solidarity with Germany.

I urge Irish citizens in Berlin to follow the advice of local authorities and to make contact with their families who may be concerned.

- With reporting from AFP and Associated Press 

Note: If you are concerned about Irish citizens in Berlin, call the Department of Foreign Affairs at:+353 1 408 2000 

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