4 dead in Stockholm truck attack, 2 arrested – Swedish Police
Stockholm authorities have confirmed that four people have died and 15 are injured, following the truck attack that took place outside Ahlens department store in the city. Swedish police have also confirmed two people has been arrested, local media report.
Police said that the first person was arrested in a Northern Stockholm suburb and resembles the picture and description they issued earlier Friday, according to Reuters.
"We went public with information and a picture of a person that we were interested in. The person who is arrested resembles that description which means we have particular interest in him in regard to the ongoing investigation," regional police official Jan Evensson told a news conference.
A second male suspect was reportedly arrested in Stockholm’s northern suburb of Hjulsta, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported, citing police. He is said to be connected to the first suspect.
En person har gripits som kan ha kopplingar till händelsen i centrala Stockholm. Mer om det gripandet kan vi inte säga i nuläget.— Polisen Stockholm (@polisen_sthlm) April 7, 2017
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven says that all details indicate the incident was a “terrorist attack.”
A witness by the name of Dimitris told Aftonbladet that he saw at least two people run over by the vehicle.
Witness Stefan Pettersson told RT that he "saw at least three bodies that were covered with blankets and probably already dead." He added that he could see smoke and fire.
"And now I can see policemen, they’re armed and they have full protection and it's really chaos, and they told us to stay away from the windows..." he added.
Pettersson went on to state that he was about to leave for lunch at the time of the attack, noting that "if I had been 15 seconds earlier I probably would have been dead right now..."
Swedish police have issued a warning to avoid Stockholm’s city center. All Stockholm subway services have been shut down, according to TT news agency.
The city's central train station has also been evacuated. All trains to and from the station have been canceled for the rest of the day, Sweden's national rail company SJ announced.
All Swedish government offices have been closed following the attack, and all ministers are safe, a source told Reuters.
Security has also been tightened at other locations throughout the city.
Facebook has activated its safety check for people in the Stockholm area.
“Yeah, of course there was a great panic,” witness Roman Mitrofanov told RT. "People were talking on their phones and crying, and some of them, almost everyone, had a mobile phone in their hand and was trying to reach somebody to talk to.”
Footage posted on Twitter shows panicked pedestrians fleeing the scene.
“I saw hundreds of people run, they ran for their lives,” a witness by the name of Anna told the newspaper, adding that she also fled the scene.
A worker at Åhlens department store said the truck drove into the store’s perfume department. He said an alarm went off inside the store and everyone was asked to leave the building, SVT reported.
A photo posted online shows the truck after it crashed into the department store, with the caption stating that the vehicle came from a direction in which trucks are not allowed.
Radio Sweden is also reporting that the truck caught fire after crashing into the department store.
Helicopters are circling above the area, a witness told SVT.
The area has been cordoned off by police. Authorities were alerted at 2:53pm local time, according to SVT.
An employee at the nearby Stockholm Inn hotel told RT that hotel employees and guests are being “informed to stay in here because it's not over yet.” She added that she has not heard any shots fired.
Swedish brewery Spendrups has reportedly said that one of its trucks was hijacked earlier on Friday.
In a joint statement, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel said they are "deeply shocked" at the incident, adding that they stand by their "Swedish friends," Sputnik reported.
Just nu: stora avspärrningar mäster samuelsgatan. pic.twitter.com/r9hF7Gk6lM— Staffan Lindberg (@staffanlindberg) April 7, 2017
The statement was made during the ministers' two-day visit to Mali.
The scene is near the site of a December 2010 attack which saw a man rig a car with explosives, in an effort to drive people to Drottninggatan - where the Friday incident took place. From there, he planned to set off devices strapped to his chest and back. The car bomb never went off, and the attacker died when one of his devices detonated. Two others were injured.
The Friday incident comes less than three weeks after an attacker plowed a truck into pedestrians in London, killing four people. One police officer was also fatally stabbed by the attacker.
An attacker also smashed a truck through a Christmas market in Berlin in December, killing 12 people.
Last July, an attacker in Nice, France, plowed a truck into pedestrians during a Bastille Day celebration, killing 86 people.