A student from Chester who was at a Christmas market in Berlin just minutes before a deadly lorry attack says he feels 'so lucky' to be safe.
Nineteen-year-old Oliver Newman has told The Chronicle of his immense relief that he deviated from what had become his evening holiday routine of visiting the market stalls outside the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church near Berlin Zoo on Monday night (December 19).
The truck ploughed into crowds in a suspected terrorist attack which has claimed at least 12 lives and injured dozens more.
Oliver and his girlfriend Aukse Baranauskaite were on the fourth day of their trip, but he was feeling dizzy so the couple decided to head back to their nearby hotel rather than stay at the market for a drink like they had done every other night.
They only heard about what had happened when their worried families finally managed to get through to them after countless missed calls.
Manchester Metropolitan University student Oliver, who lives in Saltney , said: "We were at that market every day for the first few days of our trip.
"We had just been for a meal and we thought we could either stay at the market to get a drink or go back to the hotel to have an early night.
"So about 25 or 30 minutes after we left, it happened.
"Luckily we escaped it by pot luck.
"My initial reaction was pure shock. We just sat in silence thinking that we were so lucky not to be there, because any other night we would have been."
Oliver had been due to stay in the German capital until Wednesday (December 21), but decided to cut his holiday short because he wanted to get back home.
"We both got scared thinking that this can happen any time, anywhere, right on your doorstep," he added.
"I think the main thing that has affected me is seeing how much it affected my family who were so worried about us."
Flowers and lit candles have been placed in Chester Town Hall in memory of those killed in the incident.