Police action in limburg: man drives truck into cars

In Limburg, a man hijacks a truck and drives it into cars. Nine people are injured. The background of the incident remains unclear.

A truck crashed into several stationary vehicles in Limburg, Hesse Photo: Thorsten Wagner/dpa

Even after many hours of crime scene work and witness interviews, the background of the truck incident in Limburg, Hesse, remains unclear. On Monday evening, a man had hijacked a truck and drove it into several cars. According to police, eight people were injured, all of whom have since been able to leave the hospital. The truck driver had also been slightly injured.

The public prosecutor’s office Frankfurt am Main confirmed at noon on Tuesday that the suspect is a 32-year-old Syrian. He had "forcibly" pulled the original driver of the truck out of the driver’s cab at around 5:18 p.m. on Monday, but without a weapon. He then drove a few meters away from an intersection "without braking" into seven cars and a van. The suspect was arrested at the scene by federal police officers who happened to be in the vicinity.

Early on, there was speculation about the motive for the incident. On the question of whether the incident could have a terrorist background, police said only that they were investigating in all directions. The public prosecutor’s office also stated that "investigations into the background of the crime are currently ongoing." No further details could be given on the motive for the crime.

According to Frankfurter Neue Presse (FNP), the Syrian had pulled the original truck driver out of his vehicle while it was waiting at a traffic light. Then he had driven into the cars. The newspaper quotes witnesses to the crime, according to which the 32-year-old got out himself after the incident and sat down against a tree. He allegedly used the term "Allah" and appeared dazed.

Police confiscate cell phones and USB sticks

According to media reports, the Syrian is said to have come to Germany in 2015. He is said to be known to police for various offenses – but not for political acts or Islamist contacts.

Still on Monday evening, two apartments in the district of Offenbach and Limburg-Weilburg district were searched with reference to the suspect. The police confiscated cell phones and USB sticks. The suspect was to be brought before the investigating judge on Tuesday.

Marius Hahn, the mayor of Limburg, expressed his dismay about the incident. "I am shocked and my thoughts are with the injured accident victims and their families," the SPD man said. "It is still difficult for me to classify things."