Man dies after crashing car into Russian embassy gate in Romania

A car bursts into flames and kills its driver after crashing into the gate of the Russian embassy in Bucharest.

Police officers stand guard as crime scene investigators check the area where a car crashed into the gate of the Russian Embassy in Bucharest
Police officers stand guard as crime scene investigators check the area where a car crashed into the gate of the Russian embassy in Bucharest [Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea via Reuters]

A car carrying containers of flammable substances has crashed into the gate of the Russian embassy in the Romanian capital, bursting into flames and killing the driver, according to police.

The sedan rammed into the gate at about 6am local time (03:00 GMT) on Wednesday, but did not manage to enter the Bucharest embassy compound.

Video of the aftermath showed the car engulfed in flames as security personnel ran through the area.

According to police, firefighters who arrived at the scene were able to put the fire out, but the driver died at the scene.

There was no immediate information on a possible motive or other details.

Bogdan Staicu, the case prosecutor, who arrived at the scene told reporters that several containers with flammable substances were discovered inside the car, which will be examined by forensics experts.

The crash was under investigation and an autopsy will be carried out, Staicu said.

Russian reaction

In a statement after the incident, the Russian embassy expressed condolences to the family of the driver.

“We must state with regret that whatever the motives of the driver,” the statement read. “There is no doubt that he committed this act under the influence of an explosion of anti-Russian hysteria in connection with a staged provocation in the city of Bucha,” the embassy said, referring to the atrocities carried out by Russia’s army in the Ukrainian city.

The embassy said no employees were injured in Wednesday’s incident.

Russia’s ambassador to Romania, Valery Kuzmin, said that the embassy in Bucharest has “repeatedly” received threats by email, according to the Russian state news agency Tass.

“The atmosphere that has been gradually forming here is very tense,” Kuzmin said.

Police collect evidence from around a car that rammed into the gate of the Russian embassy early in the morning in Bucharest
Police collect evidence from around a car that rammed into the gate of the Russian embassy [Robert Ghement/EPA]

Romania, which shares a long land border with Ukraine, has taken in more than 600,000 refugees since Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbour.

Since the war started on February 24, protesters have gathered outside Russia’s embassy in the capital to call for an end to the Russian aggression.

On Tuesday, Romania ordered 10 diplomats from the embassy expelled following a string of expulsions of Russian officials across the 27-nation European Union.

Romania’s foreign ministry said the actions of 10 embassy workers, who have been declared persona non grata, “contravene the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relationships”.

Source: News Agencies