Five dead and many injured after car drives into pedestrians in Trier, Germany

1 December 2020, 14:01 | Updated: 1 December 2020, 21:44

A square is blocked by the police in Trier, Germany
A square is blocked by the police in Trier, Germany. Picture: PA

By Megan White

A car drove at high speed into a pedestrian zone in the southwestern German city of Trier, killing five people and seriously injuring more than a dozen before being stopped by police.

The driver, identified as a 51-year-old German man from the area, was arrested at the scene and the vehicle was impounded, Trier police spokesman Karl-Peter Jochem said, according to news agency dpa.

German police said a baby is among the victims, according to a report from AFP, which added there is no current sign of political motivation.

The public prosecutor also told a press conference that the suspect in the collision was drunk after consuming a "not insignificant" quantity of alcohol before the incident.

Footage from the scene showed people outside a shop apparently helping someone on the ground lying among scattered debris.

"It was simply terrible," mayor Wolfram Leibe told n-tv television after visiting the site on Tuesday.

Mr Leibe said the perpetrator "drove through the pedestrian zone, clearly at high speed, and killed several people and injured several, some of them seriously".

The driver is being questioned by police, he said.

"I don't want to speculate, but all of us are asking ourselves ... what drives a person to do something like this?" Mr Leibe said.

"Of course I don't have an answer to this question."

The area was being kept shut down until at least Wednesday morning for police to collect evidence, but there was no longer any danger, Mr Leibe said.

Trier is about 120 miles west of Frankfurt, near the border with Luxembourg.

The city of about 110,000 people is known for its Roman gate, the Porta Nigra, which is near the scene of the crash, and as the birthplace of Karl Marx.