Ber­lin wit­nesses re­count hor­ror

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A sud­den bang-and then ev­ery­thing went dark. Sur­vivors of the car­nage caused when a lorry ploughed into a Ber­lin Christmas mar­ket re­count the fear and hor­ror they felt when fes­tive rev­elry turned to death and de­struc­tion in a mat­ter of sec­onds. Many also told of lucky es­capes and chance de­ci­sions that meant they were not stand­ing in the path of the truck that mowed down the crowd on Mon­day, killing at least 12 peo­ple.

‘20 cen­time­ters away’

Lana Se­fo­vac, a Bos­nian who lives in Ber­lin, was at the en­trance of the mar­ket at the time of the attack. “We were at a stall be­cause we wanted to buy some food. We were lucky we were hun­gry be­cause if we had been on the prom­e­nade we would have been vic­tims,” she told re­gional N1 tele­vi­sion in Bos­nia. “I was stand­ing in front of the stall, my fa­ther was in front of me, my mum was be­hind. I heard a very, very noisy sound and when I turned to­wards it, the first thing I saw was wood fly­ing all around be­cause he lit­er­ally smashed the first wooden booth by driv­ing very fast. “He was driv­ing di­rectly to­ward us, di­rectly into us, but then he made a turn be­cause he did not want to drive into (our) booth but where peo­ple were. He wanted to run peo­ple over.

“He passed 20 cen­time­ters from my mum. She fell. My dad fell too. I turned and started scream­ing be­cause I couldn’t see my mum. I thought she was in­jured as the speed was high and I was sure he pushed her. She stood up, dad too, and at that mo­ment I turned and saw the truck hit­ting a lamp­post, with peo­ple lay­ing around it and to the side.

“Ab­so­lutely ev­ery­one was shocked, no­body knew what to do, we were all try­ing to find our loved ones and friends that only a minute ear­lier we were drink­ing mulled wine with and now they were ly­ing down in blood. Then we were wor­ried that some­thing else could hap­pen, some­one could come out of the truck, there could be an ex­plo­sion or some­thing, so as soon as the first shock passed, we im­me­di­ately ran away.”

Bel­gian woman Carima Douch, who was work­ing at the Zaven­tem air­port in Brus­sels when the sui­cide bomb­ings hap­pened in March, told of yet an­other lucky es­cape. She told Dutch daily De Tele­graaf daily af­ter wit­ness­ing the Ber­lin attack: “It’s very dif­fi­cult. You feel to­tally pow­er­less. And I am speech­less. Ev­ery­thing comes back again. — AFP

BER­LIN: View of the truck that crashed the evening be­fore into a Christmas mar­ket at Gedacht­niskirche church. — AFP

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