Berlin Christmas Market: 12 Dead, 48 Injured After Truck Plows Into Crowd in Terror Attack

(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)A survivor of an accident with a Polish truck is rescued on a stretcher near a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in the west of Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016.
(Photo: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski)Firefighter stand beside a truck at a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016, after the truck ploughed into the crowded Christmas market in the German capital.
(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)Police work at the site of an accident at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in the west of Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016. A truck ploughed into a crowd close to a Christmas market in the German capital Berlin on Monday evening, killing one person and injuring several others, the police said.
(Photo: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski)An official walks near a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016 after a truck ploughed into the crowded Christmas market in the German capital.
(Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)Police secures the area at the site of an accident at a Christmas market on Breitscheidplatz square near the fashionable Kurfuerstendamm avenue in the west of Berlin, Germany, December 19, 2016.
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Update: Dec. 19 7 PM ET: A truck plowed into a crowded Christmas market in central Berlin on Monday evening, killing 12 people and injuring 48 others in what Germany's interior minister said looked like an attack.

Police said on Twitter that they had taken one suspect into custody and that another passenger from the truck had died as it crashed into people gathered around wooden huts serving mulled wine and sausages at the foot of the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church in the heart of former West Berlin.

The nationality of the suspected driver, who fled the crash scene and was later arrested, was unclear, police said.

German media, citing police at the scene, said first indications pointed to an attack on the market, situated at the foot of the ruined Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, which was kept as a bombed-out ruin after World War II.

The incident evoked memories of an attack in France in July when Tunisian-born man drove a 19-tonne truck along the beach front, mowing down people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on Bastille Day, killing 86 people. The attack was claimed by Islamic State.

The truck careered into the Berlin market at what would have been one of the most crowded times for the Christmas market, when adults and children would be gathering in the traditional cluster of wooden huts that sell food and Christmas goods.

Berlin police said nine people were killed.

"I heard a big noise and then I moved on the Christmas market and saw much chaos...many injured people," Jan Hollitzer, deputy editor in chief of Berliner Morgenpost, told CNN.

"It was really traumatic."

Police cars and ambulances converged quickly on the scene as a huge security operation unfolded. The fate of the driver of the truck was not immediately clear, but Bild newspaper said he was on the run.

Emma Rushton, a tourist visiting Berlin, told CNN the truck seemed to be traveling at about 40 mph (65 Kmh).

Asked how many were injured, she said that as she walked back to her hotel, she saw at least 10.

Julian Reichelt, editor in chief of Bild Berlin, said that there was currently a massive security operation under way.

"The scene certainly looks like a reminder of what we have seen in Nice," Reichelt said.

(Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Writing by Robin Pomeroy and Ralph Boulton)