Driver rams German party head office in apparent suicide bid

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 December, 2017, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 December, 2017, 7:46pm

A man drove a car into the entrance of the Berlin headquarters of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) late on Sunday evening, lightly injuring himself in what police said was an apparent suicide attempt.

Police said the car, which crashed through the first set of glass doors of Willy Brandt House was laden with petrol canisters and gas cartridges.

The building’s sprinkler system extinguished the resulting blaze.

Authorities did not identify the man, in part because of a policy of limiting public communications in cases involving suicide, attempted or otherwise, saying only that he was 58 years old.

A police spokeswoman said investigators had found nothing to cast doubt on the man’s claim that he was trying to commit suicide. The incident did not appear to be an attack, she added.

It was unclear why he had chosen the SPD, which is about to start negotiations on governing for another four years in a coalition with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, as his target.

The man suffered superficial injuries and was taken to hospital. Nobody else was hurt. Police and state security services were investigating the incident.