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Two dead, eight hospitalized after car plows into DC restaurant at lunchtime, police say

WJLA

(WASHINGTON) -- At least two people are dead and eight others hospitalized after a car plowed into a Washington, D.C., restaurant during lunchtime Friday, authorities said.

D.C. Fire and EMS reported a "mass casualty incident" resulting in life-threatening injuries midday Friday in northwest D.C.

Ten victims were transported to a local hospital, where two women succumbed to their injuries, police said. The other eight victims were in stable to serious condition, police said.

All victims are believed to have been sitting in the outdoor dining area of the popular Greek restaurant Parthenon on the sunny D.C. day when the SUV careened off the road, authorities said.

The victims range in age from about 30 to 80, according to D.C. Fire and EMS Chief John Donnelly.

"This is rare. … We haven't had an incident like this in many years," Donnelly told reporters during a press briefing Friday. "A car hitting a crowd of people is a very serious event. Obviously, which we see, it's a tragedy that results in a lot of injuries -- serious injuries -- so that's what we're dealing with right now."

The crash is believed to have been an accident, authorities said. The driver, described as an elderly man, was alone in the vehicle when he apparently lost control, D.C. Police Second District Cmdr. Duncan Bedlion said.

"There are no indications this was intentional in any form or fashion," Bedlion told reporters.

The driver received treatment at the scene and is cooperating with authorities, Bedlion said.

No structural damage to the building has been found.

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia is investigating.

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