Police work at the site of an accident at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square, Berlin
Police work at the site of an accident at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square, Berlin Reuters
  • A truck ran into a crowded Christmas market in Berlin's centre on 19 December.
  • 12 people confirmed dead and up to 50 injured.
  • Berlin police are now calling the incident as a "presumed terrorist attack".
  • The vehicle ploughed into the market outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.
  • A suspect has been arrested at Victory Column.
  • A Polish national was found dead in the truck. Police have ruled him out as the driver of the truck when it ploughed into the crowd.
Berlin Christmas market truck crash: At least 12 dead and 48 injured IBTimes UK

The scene of the crash site as police and rescue workers work through the night after a man drove a truck into a busy Christmas market in Berlin on Monday (19 December). German police say their investigation will be based on the assumption that the lorry driver 'deliberately' drove into the market.


Berlin police to hold a press conference at 1 pm local time [12 noon GMT) on 20 December. More details on the attack are expected to be released.

A vigil will also be held at the Gedächtnis Kirche church, which is a popular monument in Berlin, near where the truck came to a halt.


Police say they will be moving the truck used in the attack at the Berlin Christmas market for further forensic investigations. In a tweet, it asked onlookers not to distribute pictures of the move "out of respect".


Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London has expressed solidarity with Berlin. In a tweet, he said: "My thoughts are with all those affected by the horrific events in Berlin tonight. London stands with you in solidarity and support."


Police have now classed the truck incident as a "presumed terrorist attack".


Police say their investigations will be based on the assumption that the truck was deliberately driven into the Berlin Christmas market.


#prayforberlin hastag hits the social media. One person writes: " We are tired of waking up to hashtags. We're tired of hate, violence, body counts. We're tired of living like this."

Another person going by the name of Tom Benbow said: "So sad this whole process is becoming routine."


France has beefed up security at its Christmas markets following the Berlin Christmas truck attack on 19 December, AFP reports.

French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux said: "Security at Christmas markets was immediately reinforced."


German police confirm that the Polish man found dead in the cab of the truck was not the person who drove it into the crowd at the Christmas market.


Alleged driver of truck is believed to have entered Germany as a refugee in February this year, although this has not been confirmed by the police. Police have not released details of the identity of the man arrested so far.

Several German media organisations are claiming that the suspect was known to police for several minor offences but none for terror-linked activities.

DPA press agency reports that the suspect had also used multiple names, making it difficult for the authorities to confirm his real identity.


Ariel Zurawski, the owner of the truck, has told Polish television that he believes the dead passenger in the truck could be his cousin.

"My wife told me they had found a body in the cab. From what they say it could be my driver. My cousin. Please forgive me but I can't talk any more now," he told Polish television.

He said his cousin's wife had spoken to him around 4pm but was not able to contact him after that. His cousin, 37, was driving the vehicle to Berlin with a consignment of steel, The Telegraph reports.

Separately, the company's transport manager Lukasz Wasik told AFP that the driver was transporting steel products from Italy to Berlin.

"The company where he was supposed to unload the products in Berlin was not able to receive them and told him to return on Tuesday morning. They told him to wait in Berlin somewhere," Wasik said, according to The Guardian.


Police say the passenger found dead in the truck is a Polish citizen.


Italy's Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano says he is "deeply stricken and pained" by the deaths in Berlin. He said: "In this sad moment that instead should be of joy and peace in the approach to the Christmas holidays."

He said the attacks "won't change our determination to combat terrorism" together with international partners and in particular Germany, saying that both countries are in "strict coordination," according to Associated Press.


Police have now confirmed that 12 people have died and 48 have been injured.


The German federal president, Joachim Gauck, has issued a statement:

"In my thoughts I am with the victims, with their families and with all those who fear for the safety of their friends and relatives. I thank the emergency services and the security forces for their hard work," he said.


Berlin police say that 45 people who were injured in the truck attack have been admitted to hospital. The rescue operation at the accident site has now terminated, they tweeted.


Donald Trump has added his thoughts on the events in Berlin, calling it the work of terrorists.

He tweeted: "Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany - and it is only getting worse.

"The civilized world must change thinking!"


Huge sighs of relief as Berlin police say the 'suspicious item' they were investigating near the site of the fatal crash, was a sleeping bag.


Indications suggest that the arrested truck driver is Pakistani and not Chechen, as was earlier suspected, according to Welt. He is said to be known to police for minor criminal offences and not for terrorist activity.

The man in custody is believed to have stolen the truck in Poland, says a Tagesspiegel report, who also state that that he has used several aliases.


Berlin police tweet they have blocked a street near the Breitscheidplatz incident to "check a suspicious item."

The Rankestrasse street in question runs directly to the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church, where the truck deliberately drove into the crowd.


There are some suspicions that the Polish driver of the vehicle was hijacked at some point in the journey. The owner of the truck, Ariel Zurawski said on TVN24: "I put my hand in the fire for him. This is my cousin." He maintained that someone must have stolen the truck.

Zurawki added "they must have done something to my driver".

Reuters reports that the truck owner last spoke with his cousin around noon, who then told him he was in Berlin and was scheduled to unload the truck on Tuesday morning.


Isis has claimed responsibility for the Christmas market truck crash according to the New York Post. The Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Force tweeted that the terrorist group was taking credit for the attack.


Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has sent his condolences on Twitter: "Berlin mourns. And we mourn with the many killings and injuries. We think of anyone who is waiting in vain for a loved one to come home tonight. I expressed my compassion to my German colleague Angela Merkel on behalf of the Netherlands and offer to help.'


This is a map of the scene of the truck crash in relation to other parts of Berlin.

Berlin Christmas market truck crash