Thursday 8 December 2016

Berlin on high alert as police believe car explosion was caused by bomb

Published 15/03/2016 | 10:22

Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
People and journalists gather around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
Rescuers and police officers work around a car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
A German police officer stands outside the Reichstag, seat of the German lower house of Parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany

An explosion that destroyed a car and killed the driver in central Berlin during rush hour traffic was probably caused by a bomb, police said.

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The explosion occurred at about 8am local time (0700 GMT) in the western district of Charlottenburg on a busy street leading into the heart of the German capital.

Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016
Rescuers and police officers work around a damaged car after a blast caused by an explosive device killed its driver travelling down a street in central Berlin on March 15, 2016

Photos from the scene showed the wreckage of a silver Volkswagen Passat estate with its windows blown out and its front end smashed in, about a kilometre (half a mile) from the capital's landmark Victory Column.

"(The) explosion occurred inside or on the vehicle," said Carsten Mueller, deputy chief spokesman for Berlin police.

"Our investigators are working on the assumption that it was an explosive device that caused this," Mr Mueller said.

He said investigators are still trying to determine the man's identity but confirmed that nobody else was injured in the blast despite heavy traffic.

Experts checked the vehicle but found no further explosive devices, Mr Mueller said.

Police are looking into all possible scenarios that might have led to the blast, he said.

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