Germany Carnival crash: 35 remain in hospital after man drives car into crowds

Thirty five people, including 18 children, remain in hospital after a car drove into crowds at a carnival in Germany on Monday.

Northern Hesse state police say they believe the driver, a 29-year-old local man, deliberately hit spectators in the town of Volkmarsen, east of Dusseldorf.

The man has been arrested but Germany's Bild newspaper reports he remains in hospital with serious head injuries and so has not been able to be questioned.

Police said on Twitter "the motive of the perpetrator is still not clear".

A silver Mercedes is seen with its windscreen smashed. Credit: AP

The crash occurred on the south side of the town, outside a supermarket on Monday afternoon.

Regional newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau reported that witnesses had said the driver of the car drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the carnival parade.

A police spokesman said some of the injuries sustained by spectators were "life-threatening".

Forensics teams appear to be carrying out an inspection of the area. Credit: AP

Video from the scene shows a silver Mercedes station wagon on the pavement with its hazard warning lights on.

Emergency services erected metal fencing around the scene on Monday while forensic teams worked in a taped off area.

Towns across Germany had been in the midst of celebrations for "Rosenmontag", which translates as Rose Monday, when the incident occurred.

All other Carnival parades in the Hesse state were ended as a precaution.

Peter Beuth (center) Minister of the Interior of Hesse, stands with emergency forces near the spot where the car drove into crowds. Credit: AP

Volkmarsen, which has a population of 7,000, is around 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin.

On the town website, advice in advance of Monday's event said the "inner city will be closed to through traffic" for the carnival procession.