A German carnival parade in Volkmarsen, Hessen, Germany at around 2:30 p.m. local time Monday afternoon was attacked by a driver who rammed his car into the parade ‘train’. The incident left multiple people injured, including several children. Police say that the driver intentionally drove past the plastic barricades at the carnival and aimed for the children and other pedestrians in attendance. The driver, a 29 year old German citizen, was arrested.
This incident comes just days after a “far-right” attack in Hanau, Germany (also in Hessen) in which a gunman opened fire, killing 11.
“In #Volkmarsen North Hesse a car drove into the carnival parade there. As a precautionary measure, all carnival parades taking place in Hesse are then canceled. This also applies to the move to #Kiedrich, which is almost over anyway . Thanks for your understanding!” Police in Westhessen (translated)
News reports from the area stated that the driver of a silver Mercedes Benz station wagon accelerated toward the crowd, blowing through the barricades and targeting the children in the German carnival parade. When the car came to rest, witnesses said the driver still “had his foot on the gas.” The injury count is up to 30 at last report, many injuries were serious or life-threatening, according to the German publication Bild. There were no reports of deaths as of this writing.
Police told the publication that, “We are assuming an attack.”
“It was a beautiful procession on Shrove Monday and just as the train was about to end, I suddenly heard flashing lights and sirens. Crying people came towards me. There were mainly injured children on the street, but also older people. Children came up to me and said it did, pop, pop, pop whenever the car ran over a person.” District Administrator Dr. Reinhard Kubat
Police requested anyone with videos of the incident to bring them to police, and cautioned people against “speculation.” After police told Bild that an attack was assumed, they backed off and said it “probably wasn’t an extremist” at the same time they stated the driver hadn’t yet been interrogated. They indicated an information portal would be set up for people to upload their videos.
Shrove Monday, Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday, is a carnival celebration in several European countries, including parts of Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Switzerland. The German carnival falls on the Monday before Ash Wednesday (Feb 26) on the Christian calendar. Similar to Mardi Gras, the parades are the draw for people to attend. In this case, all parades for the celebration were cancelled after the attack.
The driver has been detained; the motive of the incident and the identity of the driver is unknown at this time pic.twitter.com/6jJRLo6mKu
— EHA News (@eha_news) February 24, 2020
Featured photo: screenshot via Bild