BERLIN (AP) – A German motorist injured 21 people Sunday when he drove a Volkswagen Polo through a concrete barrier that protects Berlin’s main World Cup public viewing area, police said.

Ten of those injured were taken to area hospitals, while 11 others were treated at the scene, police spokesman Eharhart Koerting said.

Police believe the driver may have intentionally broken through the barrier that protects the stretch of road where marches are shown on big screens to hundreds of thousands of fans, Koerting said. Few people were on the “fan mile,” however, because no matches were being played.

Police detained both the 33-year-old driver, whose identity was not released, and a 55-year-old female passenger.

Berlin state official Michael Donnermeyer said that a search of the vehicle turned up no explosives and a concert scheduled for later Sunday would take place as planned.

“We were very lucky,” Donnermeyer said.

The car went through the barrier and drove right up to the area’s main stage, directly before Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate.

Thorsten Meyer said he was walking with his girlfriend when he saw it approaching the barrier at about 30 mph.

“I would say that it was deliberate,” Meyer said.

During the games, as many as 700,000 people have packed the mile-long area featuring nine large screens flanked by vendors selling drinks, food and soccer jerseys.



Associated Press writer Verena Schmitt-Roschmann contributed to this report.

AP-ES-07-02-06 1503EDT


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