A truck has crashed into a Christmas marketplace in Berlin, Germany, killing nine and injuring dozens of other bystanders. German authorities are investigating the incident as an act of terrorism, but the motivations of the two people in the truck have not been confirmed.
On Dec. 19, a truck drove into a market popular for Christmas shopping in central Berlin, running over shoppers at 40 mph, according to CNN.
"There's no way it was an accident," said Emma Rushton, a witness on the scene.
There have been nine confirmed deaths while 50 others have been injured. The driver was apprehended by German police while another passenger in the truck died at the scene, NBC News reports.
The nationality of the suspect has not been released, but the vehicle's license plates have been confirmed to have originated from a delivery company in Poland. The company has released a statement asserting that they had lost contact with the truck's driver earlier that afternoon, leaving authorities to suspect that the vehicle may have been hijacked, The Guardian reports.
German MP Wolfgang Bosbach released a statement confirming that the incident was being investigated as a potential act of terrorism.
"Although there is a host of unanswered questions, indications are it was a deliberate attack, carried out not just with the greatest brutality and disastrous consequences but also with a deliberate symbolism," Bosbach said. "Just a few days before Christmas, in the middle of the German capital and amidst happy, peaceful people. The message is clear: no matter where, no matter how, we can pounce at any time."
The incident recalls the July terrorist attack in Nice, France, when a man drove his truck into a crowd on Bastille Day, killing 86 and injuring 200 others. That attack had reportedly been inspired by propaganda by the Islamic State group (ISIS). German authorities have so far not found any evidence of possible ties between the latest attack and that terrorist attack.
The rate of terrorist attacks in Europe has left American authorities on high alert, especially during the holiday season.
In November, the U.S. State Department issued a statement urging American citizens to "exercise vigilance when attending large holiday events, visiting tourists sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc."