Taxi cab plows into crowd in Moscow

June 16, 2018 GMT

A taxi cab drove into a crowd of pedestrians Saturday near Red Square in Moscow, Russia, two days into the country’s tenure hosting the 2018 World Cup.

At least eight people were injured as the result of the incident, Russian authorities said Saturday evening, including two people identified by the Mexican Embassy in Moscow as Mexican citizens.

Police arrested the driver of the vehicle, and a photograph shared on Twitter by Moscow traffic management authority subsequently identified the suspect as Chingiz Anarbek Uulu, a 28-year-old native of Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet state.

The driver told police that the incident was unintentional, Moscow’s traffic authorities tweeted.

“The driver lost control of the vehicle,” tweeted Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

Video footagesharedon social media of the incident showed the cab hopping a curb and plowing into a crowd of people prior to its driver exiting and attempting to flee from angered onlookers.

“He ran into a group of Mexicans,” a witness identified as Viktoria Geraimovich told Reuters. “There were shouts, moans. He was only stopped because he hit a traffic sign.”

“Someone gave him a punch in the face. He stayed in the car, people came up to him, said what are you doing, punched him in the face, he opened the door and tried to run away,” she added. “It’s scary that it was in the center (of Moscow) and I was right opposite.”

Thousands of Mexican soccer fans are currently in Moscow for their team’s match Sunday against Germany at Luzhniki Stadium, the site of Thursday’s opening game, The Moscow Times reported.

The two Mexicans were “slightly injured,” the embassy tweeted. None of the people hospitalized were critically hurt, Russia’s Interfax newswire reported.

On Friday, meanwhile, the U.S. State Department on Friday updated its advice to travelers cautioning against visiting Russia.

“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, and local government facilities,” warned the State Department.

The 2018 World Cup will continue through July 15 at 11 host cities throughout Russia.