Police and rescue workers at the scene in Wilton Manors: The parade was subsequently canceled
Photo: Chris Day / AP
The white delivery van initially lined up with the floats, but then accelerated: At a gay pride parade in the US state of Florida, the driver of a pickup truck drove into the crowd and killed at least one man.
US media reported it was unclear whether the incident at Wilton Manors near Fort Lauderdale was a deliberate attack.
The van driver was provisionally arrested.
The local broadcaster Local 10 reports that it initially appeared as if the driver wanted to take part in the parade.
But then the vehicle got faster and knocked over at least two participants in the LGBT parade.
One of them died, said Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis, who attended the parade.
The second man is being treated in hospital, according to US media.
According to Mayor Trantalis, the van drove towards Democratic Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's convertible but missed the car.
Mayor speaks of a "terrorist attack"
Photos and video recordings showed Wassermann Schultz in tears shortly after the incident.
The democratic politician later announced in a statement that she was shaken and devastated.
"I'm so heartbroken about what happened at that party," she said.
"May the memory of the lost life be blessed."
Mayor Trantalis was convinced that it was a deliberate act, namely "a terrorist attack against the LGBT community".
The English abbreviation LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
Other eyewitnesses made similar statements.
Suddenly the loud acceleration of the delivery truck could be heard, the AP news agency quoted a viewer of the parade as saying.
“It was definitely a deliberate act across the lane,” she said accordingly.
Police would still be gathering information, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said.
It is clear, however, that two people who wanted to celebrate equality and inclusion were hit by a vehicle.
The sheriff's office is only a few meters from where the delivery truck is steered into the crowd.
"This tragedy happened very close to me and my team and we are devastated to see this terrible incident," he said.
The police initially did not want to comment on whether the authorities were assuming a deliberate attack.
The police later announced on Twitter that the parade had been canceled out of respect for those affected.
asc / AFP / AP