BERLIN — A vehicle crashed into a crowd Saturday outside a popular bar in the western German city of Muenster, killing three people and injuring 20 others, police said.
Police spokesman Andreas Bode told reporters the driver of the vehicle killed himself after the crash. He said the driver’s identity was not yet known and that it was too early to speculate about his motive.
He also said six of the 20 injured people were in severe condition.
Police tweeted that residents should “avoid the area near the Kiepenkerl pub” in the city’s historic downtown area where a large-scale police operation was underway.
Police said a suspicious object was found in the van and they’re still examining it to see if it is dangerous. They told German news agency dpa that the object was the reason why a large area around the scene was sealed off after the crash.
Muenster Mayor Markus Lewe said the reason for the crash was still unclear.
German news Television n-tv showed a narrow street sealed off with red-and-white police tape. Dozens of ambulances were waiting near the cordoned-off downtown area. Helicopters were flying overhead.
Muenster, a major university city, has about 300,000 residents and an attractive city center rebuilt after World War II.
Lino Baldi, who owns an Italian restaurant in Muenster near the scene of the crash, told Sky TG24 that the city center was packed due to a Saturday market and summer-like temperatures, which had risen to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) from just 12 degrees (low 50s) a day earlier.