UPDATED 8:22 p.m. ET
A truck crashed into a Berlin Christmas market killing at least 12 people and injuring 48, Berlin Police reported Monday. Police believe the crash was a planned attack similar to the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France this past July in which 80 people were killed.
Local media reported the truck jumped the sidewalk before crashing into Christmas market stands around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church according to the New York Times. According to reports, the driver fled the scene. Police later reported arresting a man near the market, but couldn’t immediately confirm if it was the driver. Police also found a dead passenger in the front of the truck who they have identified as being a Polish citizen. Berlin Police tweeted the passenger died "on the spot."
Authorities said the truck involved in the incident had a Polish license plate. The truck is believed to have been stolen from a construction site in Poland, but authorities, including federal prosecutors, are investigating. Police also reported 45 people had been transported to Berlin hospitals for injuries before later saying it was 48 people who were treated.
It is suspected that the truck was stolen from a construction site in Poland.— PolizeiBerlinEinsatz (@PolizeiBerlin_E) December 19, 2016
The investigations are still ongoing.#Breitscheidplatz
Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel responded to the incident: “We mourn the dead and hope the many injured can be helped” said Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert on Twitter. Seibert also tweeted that Merkel is in contact with Berlin Mayor Michael Müller who called the scene of the market crash “terrible” reported the NYT.
The White House has also responded, calling the incident an “attack.” National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price said: “The United States condemns in the strongest terms what appears to have been a terrorist attack on a Christmas Market in Berlin, Germany, which has killed and wounded dozens. We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed, just as we wish a speedy recovery to all of those wounded. We also extend our heartfelt condolences to the people and Government of Germany. We have been in touch with German officials, and we stand ready to provide assistance as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident. Germany is one of our closest partners and strongest allies, and we stand together with Berlin in the fight against all those who target our way of life and threaten our societies.”
President-elect Donald Trump also put out a statement regarding the incident, blaming "global jihad." The statement read: "Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of today's horrifying attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners."