(BERLIN) — A teacher was killed and 14 schoolchildren were injured when a car plowed into a crowd in a popular shopping district in Berlin on Wednesday morning, police said.
The deadly incident took place along the busy shopping street Tauentzienstrasse in the west of Germany’s capital at around 10:30 a.m. local time. The students and their teacher were there on a class field trip from the central German state of Hesse when a small car drove into the group and crashed into a storefront, according to the Berlin Police.
A police spokesperson told ABC News on Wednesday that eight of the injured were in serious condition.
The alleged driver — a 29-year-old German-Armenian man living in Berlin — has “suspected psychological problems” and was detained at the scene, police said.
A motive was unknown and it was unclear whether the incident was terror-related, according to police.
“It is not yet known whether it was an accident or intentional action,” the Berlin Police said in a statement via Twitter on Wednesday.
The scene was near the Breitscheidplatz, a public square in Berlin where 13 people were killed when an extremist deliberately drove a truck into a Christmas market in 2016.
U.S. officials have been told that German authorities are actively trying to determine whether Wednesday’s incident was an intentional ramming. There was concern given the proximity to the 2016 attack, ABC News has learned.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took to Twitter to condemn the incident, which he described as a “cruel rampage.”
“The cruel rampage on Tauentzienstrasse leaves me deeply saddened,” Scholz tweeted Wednesday. “The trip of a Hesse school class to Berlin has ended in a nightmare. Our thoughts are with the relatives of the dead and the injured, including many children. I wish them all a speedy recovery.”
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