The driver, a 29-year-old German citizen, mounted the pavement in the town of Volkmarsen, 15 miles west of Kassel, around 2.30pm on Monday before ploughing into families which turned out for the festivities.
Police arrested the driver at the scene. While officers could not disclose a motive for the attack, local media reported that investigators are working on the assumption that it was deliberate.
German police say he is being treated by doctors due to injuries he suffered in the incident, and prosecutors he now faces charges of attempted homicide.
Tonight special police officers were pictured outside the home of the man who drove his car and crashed into a group of revelers. Forensic officers had also set up a cordon around the vehicle.
The rampage injured some 30 people including children, prosecutors said. Attorney General Alexander Badle said the driver was not drunk, according to Bild.
‘It can be assumed that it was intentional,’ police spokesman Henning Hinn told reporters. He added that eight to 10 of those injured were seriously hurt.
‘Among those who are seriously injured are children, unfortunately,’ he said at the scene, where debris from the carnival littered the ground and a silver Mercedes-Benz car that appeared to have been involved was taped off by police.
The Hessian Ministry of the Interior had said that an attack could not be ruled out, but that the motive was unclear because the suspect is not fit for questioning.
Witnesses told news site HNA that the car had swerved around safety barriers before driving ‘full throttle’ into the crowd and appeared to be targeting children.
The car drove about 100ft into the crowd and the driver was still accelerating when police pulled him from the vehicle, public broadcaster Hessenschau reported.
Witnesses told Bild that angry locals surrounded the car as the driver was pulled out, and that police had to protect him as he was arrested.
Dirk Richter, police spokesman in the nearby city of Kassel told Welt TV: ‘Everything we have available from the Kassel area is there.’
Video showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local licence plates and its hazard lights blinking on the pavement, while emergency crews walked by.
Source : daily mail.co.uk