One dead after car hits people at Marseille bus stops
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One dead after car hits people at Marseille bus stops

Driver crashes into two separate bus stops before being arrested; prosecutors say they are not treating it as a terror attack

French criminal police join forensic police as they search the site following a car crash on August 21, 2017, in the southern Mediterranean city of Marseille that killed at least one person.( AFP PHOTO / Boris HORVAT)
French criminal police join forensic police as they search the site following a car crash on August 21, 2017, in the southern Mediterranean city of Marseille that killed at least one person.( AFP PHOTO / Boris HORVAT)

MARSEILLE, France — At least one person has been killed in Marseille after a car crashed into people waiting at two different bus stops in the southern French port on Monday, police sources told AFP, adding that the suspected driver had been arrested. Another person was left seriously injured.

Marseille’s prosecutor Xavier Tarabeux said that investigators had no “element pointing to a terrorist attack” and that the driver was believed to suffer from “psychiatric” problems.

“He was found with a letter from a psychiatric clinic and we are leaning towards treating it as a mental health case,” Tarabeux told AFP.

The incident took place at around 9 a.m (0700 GMT), one source said, asking not to be named. It comes with police across Europe on high alert following the car-ramming attacks in Spain.

The Renault car first drove at speed toward a bus stop in the city’s 13th district, leaving one person seriously hurt, before targeting another stop in the 11th district, causing one fatality.

Julien Ravier, mayor of the 11th and 12th districts, told BFMTV news channel that the victim was a woman in her 40s who was waiting alone at the stop.

French forensic police inspect the site following a car crash on August 21, 2017, in the southern Mediterranean city of Marseille. had been arrested afterwards. ( AFP PHOTO / Boris HORVAT)
French forensic police inspect the site following a car crash on August 21, 2017, in the southern Mediterranean city of Marseille. had been arrested afterwards. ( AFP PHOTO / Boris HORVAT)

The police source said the man was in his mid-30s and was not from Marseille. Another source said the vehicle was a van.

The sources did not say whether the incident was being treated as a terror attack.

BFMTV reported that a bystander noted the registration number of the car, which the police used to trace the vehicle to the city’s Old Port district, where the suspect was arrested.

Police sealed off the port area and urged residents in a tweet to avoid the neighborhood, which is popular with tourists.

Earlier Monday, Spanish authorities officially notified European police of the identity of the driver who plowed his van into crowds in Barcelona to enable the launch of a Europe-wide manhunt, the regional government said.

“We have to talk to European police to notify them of the identity because this person… is likely being sought in all European countries,” Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn told local radio, adding that everything suggested the suspect is 22-year-old Younes Abouyaaqoub.

Abouyaaqoub is thought to be the driver of the van that mowed down pedestrians on the busy Las Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona, killing 13.

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