Hijacked truck was carrying 25 tons of steel when it veered into the crowded marketplace

Terrorists have again used a commercial semi truck to commit acts of mass violence, this time in Germany’s capital city of Berlin on December 19, 2016. The truck drove through a crowded town square full of people shopping the Christmas booths set up along a pedestrian area, killing 12 people and injuring 48 more. The act was done in a similar fashion as the truck attack in Nice, France on July 14, 2016.

The dozens of photos taken of the scene clearly show the horrific aftermath. Also clearly visible is the make of the semi truck. It is a Scania R450 with the R-Sleeper-Topline cab. Scania, a Swedish brand with a rich history, is 70-percent owned by Volkswagen and 17 percent owned by MAN, which itself is also heavily owned by Volkswagen.

The particular truck features a short wheelbase, and according to specifications on Scania’s website, likely has a 6x4 drive configuration, meaning the four rear tires drive the truck while the front tires only steer. The full-length trailer has six wheels, three on each side, and has canvas sides. The truck was reportedly stolen from the Polish trucking company Ariel Zurawski, named after its founder and current owner.

Reports say it was Zurawski’s cousin who was operating the truck on a route from Italy to Berlin when it was purportedly hijacked. Zurawski’s cousin was found shot to death inside the truck when authorities reached the scene. The hijacker has not been found. The truck was loaded with 25 tons of steel.

We will update this story if further details come to light regarding the truck.

Continue reading for more information.

Why It Matters

News outlets the world over will cover the events of this terrorist attack, but few will cover the specifics of the truck. As an automotive outlet, we’re doing our due diligence to bring that information to the public.

But as we said with the truck attack in France last July, the make and model of the truck does not ultimately matter. It’s the 12 lives taken and the 48 other who must live with the memories and wounds of this event. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all.

Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read More
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