25 hurt as driver crashes into World Cup fan mile

3rd July 2006, Comments 0 comments

3 July 2006, BERLIN - The 33-year-old man who drove through crowd barriers at Berlin's football World Cup fan zone Sunday, injuring 25 people, is being investigated for attempted homicide.

3 July 2006

BERLIN - The 33-year-old man who drove through crowd barriers at Berlin's football World Cup fan zone Sunday, injuring 25 people, is being investigated for attempted homicide.

Police said Monday the man, a German of Indian descent, would be brought before a judge later in the day to face formal arraignment.

The 55-year-old woman with him in the car was his mother, according to local media reports. She was released on Monday, nearly 24 hours after the incident, which left 25 people injured.

A boy aged 11 suffered several broken ribs. He was the only person with serious injuries. Also hurt were 14 men, eight women, and two other children aged one and eight.

The driver was apparently a person "who wanted to hurt other people or draw attention to himself," Interior Senator Ehrhart Koerting said late Sunday. There was no clear motive for the act.

It happened when the area - where 750,000 fans have gathered for matches before the capital's landmark Brandenburg Gate - was unusually empty, as no World Cup games were played Sunday.

A search of the vehicle yielded no evidence of any explosives. "There was no bomb in the car and it was not a major attack," Koerting said.

Witnesses said the car broke through a first barrier, followed a zig-zag course and then hit a second barrier line and came to a halt.

"I would say it was going at 40 to 50 kilometres an hour - it looked like it was deliberate," one witness said.

Berlin city government spokesman Michael Donnermeyer said authorities had no plans to close the sprawling party zone, a 2.5- kilometre stretch of a wide boulevard that cuts through Berlin's forested Tiergarten park.

DPA

Subject: German news

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