At least two (now five) people have killed and several others injured in Stockholm after a truck was driven through a crowd and crashed into a department store. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven is calling the incident a “terror attack,” as Europe is still on edge in the wake of the deadly incident in Westminster involving another vehicle driven through a crowd on Westminster Bridge.
One person arrested in Stockholm incident
According to The Guardian, the Stockholm incident occurred at 3 p.m. local time at the Ahlens department store on Queen Street, one of the main pedestrian streets in the city. Swedish media are reporting that the truck hurtled down the pedestrian street for several blocks, mowing down anyone who was in its path.
Photos posted on social media show the truck’s cab on fire after the vehicle slammed into the corner of the department store. The vehicle that was used in the attack is a delivery truck owned by Spendrups, a brewery headquartered near Stockholm. Officials said the truck had been carjacked earlier today while the driver was unloading a delivery at a restaurant.
Video showing the street right after the crash show hundreds of people screaming and running away. The numbers of people who were hurt or killed are varying widely, with some news sources saying two were killed and others saying at least five died. News outlets peg the number of people injured in the Stockholm attack at as many as eight.
— CNN (@CNN) April 7, 2017
Disturbing reports from witnesses to Stockholm terror attack
One witness who saw the truck moving at a high speed toward the Ahlens department said that it “mowed down eight people.” The person also reported seeing four bodies a bit further away and said they grabbed a woman with a small child who had become paralyzed with fear and another woman and hid with them in a stairwell.
Some witnesses told The Guardian that they heard gunshots, although those reports haven’t been officially confirmed. Police said there were shots fired at a different location, and the BBC reports that there were shots fired elsewhere in Stockholm, citing security sources. However, it’s unclear whether the truck incident and the gunshots are related.
Swedish prime minister calling it an act of terror
Police quickly locked down Stockholm after the incident and evacuated the central train station, which was near the store where the attack happened. Prime Minister Lofven said in a statement that everything indicates that this was “a terror attack,” adding that authorities have arrested one person.
According to The Guardian, hundreds of Swedes have gone to Syria to ISIS, and Sweden is one of the top European sources of recruits for the terror organization. Sweden has had an open-door policy for refugees from the Middle East and northern Africa, and this policy has been debated wildly since U.S. President Donald Trump erroneously referenced a fake terror attack in Sweden and was widely ridiculed for it.
The last time there was a terror attack in Sweden was in 2010 when a man blew up two bombs in Stockholm. The suspect himself was killed by one of the bombs, but no others were hurt.