A car covered in protest slogans crashed into a gate protecting German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin on Wednesday.
The crashed Volkswagen station wagon had the words “Stop Globalisation Politics” written in white on its right side and “You damn killers of children and old people” on the other, photos show.
It was not clear if Merkel was inside the building at the time of the crash, which sparked an emergency response from dozens of police cars and a fire engine.
“The Chancellor, other members of the government and people working in the Chancellery were not in danger at any time,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert insisted, adding that the incident had caused only minor damage.
The driver was taken away in a wheelchair by police, who later tweeted that the 54-year-old man was arrested, with no further details.
“We are establishing if the driver deliberately drove against (the gate),” Berlin police said on Twitter. “He has been taken into custody.”
There was no immediate indication of what prompted the incident, but it came on the day that Merkel was to meet with state governors to talk about extending a partial coronavirus shutdown that started on Nov. 2.
Europe is on high alert after suspected Islamist militants killed eight people in Paris, Nice, and Vienna in recent weeks.
Four years ago, a failed Tunisian asylum seeker with Islamist links, hijacked a truck then drove it into a crowded Berlin Christmas market, killing 11 more people and injuring dozens of others.
Merkel’s office had no immediate comment on Wednesday’s incident.
With Post wires
Car crashes into gate outside German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office Wire Services/ New York Post.