A Bosnian woman has described how she survived the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market on Monday evening that killed 12 people and injured at least 48.
“We were exactly at the scene. My father, mother and I were standing at one stall to eat when we heard a terrible noise,” Lana Sehovac, a Bosnian citizen, told TV station N1 on Tuesday as she described the attack on the popular holiday market in Breitscheidplatz, in the west of Berlin.
Sehovac said the lorry that ploughed into the market was moving directly towards her family before it turned, missing her mother by “literally 20 centimetres”.
“After the initial shock, when I recovered I began to scream. My father got up from the ground to help us. Everybody was in shock. They looked and checked the people next to them, with whom they were only a few moments ago enjoying themselves,” she said.
Sehovac said she fled the scene in case of another attack, and went with her parents to give a statement to police.
After the attack, which took place just after 8pm, a Polish person – thought to be the original driver of the lorry – was found dead inside the vehicle, which had been transporting steel beams.
A suspect was in custody, although the BBC reported that authorities were not sure if he was the attacker, and German police tweeted that citizens should remain vigilant.
On Monday evening, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ambassador to Germany Zeljko Janjetovic told Sarajevo-based newspaper Dnevni Avaz that the embassy had accounted for all of its employees, some of whom live in the vicinity of the attack.
However, he said he did not yet know if any Bosnians had been hurt or killed in the attack, and local media continued to report throughout Tuesday that there was still no update.
“The Bosnia and Herzegovina embassy in Berlin is in contact with the police and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany. For the time being there is no information on whether citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are among the victims,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Nebojsa Regoje told press agency Srna.
The embassy did not respond to BIRN’s requests for a comment.
Bosnians have a strong connection to Germany after it gave temporary refuge to 350,000 people during the war of 1992 to 1995 – the largest number of Bosnian refugees hosted by a single country.
Many were then resettled to other countries or returned home, but Bosnian citizens still migrate to Germany to study and work, and travel back and forth to visit family.
According to Germany’s Federal Statistics Office, nearly 168,000 Bosnian nationals were living in the country in 2015.