A Blackpool couple lucky to be alive following a suspected terrorist attack in Berlin have vowed to return to the German city.
Dave Richmond and his wife Liane were just yards away from the path of a truck which mowed through a Christmas market, killing at least 11 people.
The shaken couple have since returned home but say the attack, attributed to so-called Islamic State, will not stop them visiting the city they love. Dave, 52, said: “I have never been so scared in my life. But it won’t put us off. We have been going for 25 years and we will go back next year too.”
The couple, who live in Marton, were in Berlin for Dave’s birthday and had walked through the festive market, held near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, every day.
“That night we were just walking through the stalls,” he said.
“We didn’t see the truck at first but we heard the noise. It was yards away and you could hear all the Christmas lights smashing.
“Within seconds, you can hear people screaming. We got caught up with the people running. All the lights above us were shaking. It was terrifying.”
Dave grabbed Liane, 58, by the arm and the pair ran to a bar a few minutes away in a safe spot.
He said: “I got her sat down and got her a brandy and I went back to see if I could do anything.
“I walked across and the police had just started to arrive. I went right to the truck and it was just carnage.
“There was so much stuff under it, it was horrible.
“Within a second or two, the police moved us away. I was shaking like a leaf. I have never been so scared in my life.”
As Dave, who worked at the Imperial and Savoy taking care of some of the resort’s VIP visitors, made his way back to the bar, the TV news channel began to report on the horror that had unfolded in front of him.
Though he said he and his wife are still processing what they say, he thinks the death toll could have been even higher.
He said the truck ploughed through several wooden stalls but veered off course before hitting others.
“If it had carried on in a straight line it would have gone through more stalls,” he added.
The couple flew home as scheduled, and did not cut short their trip, though Dave admitted they may have come back early if their six-day trip hadn’t been due to end.
He said: “We probably wouldn’t have stayed, personally speaking. When we walked around afterwards, you could feel the sad atmosphere.”
The investigation into Monday’s terror attack, which Islamic State has claimed responsibility for, is continuing in Germany, with police hunting the person or people behind it.
One man was arrested but later released without charge, while reports by German media say officers are now looking for a Tunisian man.
Identity documents were found under the driver’s seat of the lorry, German newspaper Der Spiegel said, in the name of a Tunisian national born in 1992 and known by two other aliases.
He had been charged with assault in the summer but disappeared before he could appear in court.