A car “deliberately” drove into a crowd at a carnival procession in Germany, injuring dozens of people including children.
A large number of officers are at the scene in Volkmarsen, a small town about 175 miles south-west of Berlin, according to Northern Hesse police.
The driver of the car, a 29-year-old German citizen from Volkmarsen was arrested at the scene by police who said he “cannot be interviewed at this time because of his injuries”.
Earlier on Monday afternoon, 10 people were said to have been injured, but this number appears to have risen sharply since then.
Germany’s Bild newspaper said that “more than 30 people” were injured, about a third of whom are in a serious condition, according to their source.
The paper cited a police spokesman, Henning Hinn, as saying they were “working on the assumption that it was a deliberate act”.
Hinn said that “there were several dozen injured, among them children, and some are seriously hurt.”
The DPA news agency said no deaths had been reported in the crash.
Witnesses have said that the driver broke through the safety barriers and headed for the crowd “at full throttle”, German website HNA said.
According to the website Hessischer Rundfunk, one witness reported that the silver-coloured Mercedes raced into the crowd at around 2.30 pm.
The car came about 98 feet (30 meters) before it came to a stop. The driver’s foot was still on the gas peddle.
Images from the scene show emergency workers and police standing among debris from the crash and a silver Mercedes, said to have been the car involved.
Witnesses told the newspaper that angry locals surrounded the vehicle as the driver was pulled out, and that police had to protect him as he was arrested.
Police said they could not immediately provide further details and urged people not to spread “unconfirmed reports” about the incident, which happened early on Monday afternoon.
Police said they have not received any reports of any deaths, and do not have a specific number of injuries yet.
Dozens of ambulances were called to the scene, as well as a helicopter, according to Deutsche Welle.
It is not yet clear what caused the car to crash into the crowd or whether it was deliberate.
North Hesse Police asked anyone with images or video of the incident not to post them online as an information portal is being set up.
The General Prosecutor's Office in Frankfurt are understood to have taken over the investigation, being that of attempted homicide.
Wir wissen, dass der Wunsch nach umfassenden Informationen groß ist.
Wir appellieren jedoch eindringlich an alle, die Bilder oder Videos aus #Volkmarsen haben:
Halten Sie sich zurück mit Spekulationen; verbreiten Sie keine dieser Aufnahmen.
Ein Hinweisportal wird eingerichtet.
— Polizei Nordhessen (@Polizei_NH) February 24, 2020
They tweeted: "We know that there is a great desire for comprehensive information.
"However, we urge everyone who has pictures or videos from #Volkmarsen: Hold back on speculation; do not distribute any of these recordings.
"An information portal will be set up."
The incident took place during celebrations for Rosenmontag, or Rose Monday - a carnival day celebrated in some parts of Germany, as well as parts of Austria, Belgium and Switzerland.
Celebrations, which attract thousands each year, usually include dressing up in fancy costumes, dancing, parades and general public displays with floats.