Six killed in Glasgow garbage truck crash

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Emergency services personnel walk past a refuse truck that crashed into pedestrians in George Square, Glasgow

Emergency services personnel walk past a refuse truck that crashed into pedestrians in George Square, Glasgow, in Scotland December 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Six people have died and eight are injured after an out-of-control garbage truck careered through Glasgow's streets packed with Christmas shoppers.

Witnesses described bodies lying in the road after the crash in Glasgow's city centre, which is being treated by authorities as a major incident.

The truck travelled from the Gallery of Modern Art before it crashed near the side entrance of the Millennium Hotel next to Queen Street station.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear but there were unconfirmed reports that the driver, who survived it, might have suffered a heart attack.

Police confirmed the driver was one of those taken to hospital.

Witness Melanie Greg said the truck travelled 150 metres along the pavement before crashing in George Square.

"The bin lorry just lost control. It went along the pavement, knocking everyone like pinballs.

"There was a baby in a buggy, and it just continued knocking people down until it ended up in the building. Quite horrific, very scary," she said.

"The only way it stopped was hitting the building.

"People were trying to run out of the way. But when something was coming out behind them like that, how can they run out of the way?"

"It was just horrific," she said.

Police Scotland assistant chief constable Wayne Mawson said terrorism had been ruled out.

"While those investigations are continuing, we can confirm that this is not a terrorism-related incident."