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German man drives car into Carnival crowd, injures 30

Policemen stand next to a car in front of a supermarket in Volkmarsen near Kassel, central Germany, on Rose Monday, February 24, 2020. - 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 Elmar SCHULTEN / AFP) / XGTY - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS (Photo by ELMAR SCHULTEN/AFP via Getty Images)

BERLIN — A man intentionally drove a car into a crowd at a Carnival parade in a small town in central Germany, injuring around 30 people including children, officials said Monday.

The driver, a 29-year-old German citizen who lived locally, was arrested at the scene in Volkmarsen near Kassel, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin, prosecutors said. 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.

Volkmarsen, Germany

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.”

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

Emergency responders set up a makeshift clinic in a town pharmacy to treat casualties with minor injuries, the regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported.

Volkmarsen, Germany

Witnesses said the car drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, according to the paper.

Volkmarsen, Germany

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.

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

Hesse state is still reeling from a racist shooting last week in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau. A 43-year-old man killed nine people with immigrant backgrounds late Wednesday before killing his mother and then himself.

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