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Suspect held after truck crashes into cars in Stockholm

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Suspect held after truck crashes into cars in Stockholm
A bollard knocked over by the truck. Photo: Marc Femenia/TT
09:08 CEST+02:00
Police have seized a person suspected of crashing a truck into a taxi in Stockholm on Tuesday morning.

The crash took place in the Södermalm district, south of the city centre.

"There was a traffic accident and the driver has run from the scene," Sven-Erik Ohlsson at Stockholm police told news agency TT. 

The small truck rammed a taxi from behind, causing minor injuries to the driver, according to Ohlsson. 

A major police operation was launched, with a large area being cordoned off. The national bomb squad examined the vehicle, but did not find anything suspicious.

There were conflicting reports on where it happened, but police said in an update published online that according to initial reports the truck crashed into the taxi on the Götgatan street. The driver then kept going and abandoned the vehicle on nearby Bondegatan, sparking a major police manhunt.

The Aftonbladet tabloid reported that the truck crashed into several cars before coming to a halt, knocking over a barrier on its way. According to witnesses the taxi chased the truck after it was hit.

"I stepped out of my front door with my eight-year-old and saw all these cordons. When I took him to school they locked the main door as a precaution so nobody could get in," a Södermalm resident called Jeanette, who did not want to give her surname, told The Local.

Police initially treated the crash as a hit-and-run accident, but later launched an investigation into attempted murder. "The reason is that we can't rule out it was intentional," said a spokesperson.

Shortly after noon police confirmed that they had arrested an individual suspected of driving the truck.

They declined to comment on the identity of the suspect, but an unnamed police source told the Expressen tabloid that he had a history of substance abuse and was not thought to have any political or terror motives.

According to Expressen the man, in his 40s, has been sentenced to jail four times since the turn of the millennium over crimes including assault, narcotics offences, threats and theft.


The police bomb squad at the crossing of Bondegatan and Ösgötagatan. Photo: Mattias Areskog/TT

Earlier in the day Aftonbladet reported that the truck belonged to Curre Cederström, chairman of second-hand store Tjuvgods. He told the newspaper he had left the vehicle in a car park in southern Stockholm yesterday evening and that it had then been stolen.

"I am shocked. It is terrible," Cederström told Aftonbladet.

The incident has not been linked to terrorism, but for many Stockholmers it brought about memories of the terror attack on April 7th, when a truck mowed down people on Drottninggatan, killing five.

The Local spoke to people near the police cordon on Södermalm.

"It's awful, it's scary, especially if he's [on the run] and they haven't found him yet. It's deeply disturbing that it's happening again. I'm a bit shaky now," said Linn Eriksson before police tracked down the suspect.

"Judging from the barriers he knocked over and the skid marks on the road he must have been driving at speed," said a man who did not want to give his name.

According to witnesses the driver was wearing a green cap and overall.

A police officer at the scene confirmed to The Local that they believed a green cap found on the street belonged to the driver. The police officer protected it with a folder as it started to rain. "As soon as the rain comes evidence gets contaminated," he explained.


A green cap found at the scene. Photo: Paul O'Mahony/The Local

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