A Volkmarsen local and parade-attendee has spoken about the horror he experienced as his close relatives and colleagues "narrowly escaped a catastrophe," after a car ploughed into people injuring at least 30 during a carnival on Monday in the western German town of Volkmarsen.

Sebastien Thill also said there was speculation that a four-year-old child is amongst the victims. Thill said he first noticed something was wrong when the procession didn't move for a particularly long time, but neither he nor his daughter were injured.

Crime scene investigators could be seen placing numbered placards along the debris strewn down the road, behind taped-off areas partially blocked by fences.

The driver, who was identified as a local man by police, mounted the pavement before ramming into the crowds who had turned out for the festivities. Authorities, who arrested the 29-year old at the scene, believe the attack was intentional. At least 30 have been injured, including children.

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