A taxi ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians Saturday in central Moscow, injuring seven people, according to Russian state news agency TASS.
Video published by state-run Sputnik news agency showed a taxi in slow traffic accelerating suddenly and veering sharply onto the curb, hitting pedestrians. The video showed the driver jumping out of the car and running across the street before being apprehended.
The Tass report, which cited emergency services, said the vehicle crashed into a traffic sign, then drove into the crowd on Ilyinka Street.
As has been reported by CNN, the incident occurred near Gostiny Dvor, a business and exhibition center near Red Square, where visitors have gathered amid World Cup festivities.
The man, who has been identified as a national of Kyrgyzstan, tried to flee the scene afterwards. Close to a dozen passersby ran to the car to try to detain the driver. He ran across a busy street before being tackled by members of the public.
Two Mexican citizens, both women, were injured, the Interfax news service reported. No one is reported to have died in the incident.
Russian authorities have portrayed the incident as an accident. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin in a tweet wrote that the driver “lost control of his car”. Sobyanin said that he would be monitoring the incident personally. Police said they had charged the driver with several traffic violations for the incident, but did not announce any other charges.
Russian media have published reports that the government has issued a blackout on news about crimes committed during the World Cup to maintain a positive image while so many foreigners are in the country.
Russian cities have increased security during the month of the World Cup. Transportation has been shut down in certain cities on match days, with the security measures so extreme that the city of Volgograd has declared match days as public holidays.
The press service for Moscow’s road traffic management centre told Interfax that the driver is a Kyrgyz citizen and licensed to work as a taxi driver, but not accredited to work during the World Cup.