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Car rams into crowd in Brazil’s Copacabana, kills baby

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Injured victims are assisted at the scene of a car crash at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 18, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

A speeding car has plowed through a crowded sidewalk in a popular beachside in the Brazilian city of Rio, killing an eight-month-old baby and injuring 17 people.

Police said the incident occurred in Copacabana beach on Thursday evening, and that the driver fled the scene but was quickly arrested by security forces.

According to police, the driver said he suffered from epilepsy and had a fit before the accident. Medicine for epilepsy was found in the car.

According to eyewitnesses, the car shot over a bicycle path and across the sidewalk, hitting people and crashing through tables and chairs before coming to a stop on the sand of the beach.

The scene of a car crash at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro on January 18, 2018 (photo by AFP)

According to an e-mailed statement by Brazilian military police, there was no indication that the incident was deliberate or a terrorist attack.

“The driver explained at the police station that he had an epileptic seizure, and anti-epileptic drugs were found in his vehicle,” a military police colonel told AFP.

For a short while before the incident was declared not terrorism-related, it stoked fear among the local population that terror had struck. Several Western cities have seen terrorist attacks in which drivers plow cars into crowds, often killing and injuring large numbers of people.

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