berlin, car bomb, explosion.jpg
Photograph: EPA/PAUL ZINKEN

The bomb blast that killed the driver of a car in central Berlin on Tuesday may be linked to organized crime gangs, police said.

"Police are investigating with full force in all directions - that includes the possibility of an altercation surrounding organized crime networks," a police spokesman told dpa.

The explosion that struck the silver Volkswagen Passat occurred at about 8 am (0700 GMT) at a busy intersection in the western Charlottenburg district.

The car overturned as a result of the blast and then rammed into a parked vehicle.

Its driver, identified by police as a 43-year-old man, tried to free himself from the wreckage but was declared dead shortly thereafter.

There were no other injuries.

Berlin police said there was no indication the explosion was a terrorist attack, and said it was still investigating whether the man had been the intended target.

"There was an extremely loud bang and you could feel a tremor from a kilometre away," a witness told Berlin's BZ newspaper.

Police tweeted video footage of the scene of the explosion as officers checked to see if there were any further explosives. In the clip, an officer warns nearby residents to stay away from their windows and keep doors closed.

Police later concluded that there were no further explosive devices at the scene and told residents they could reopen their windows and doors.

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