Several people have been injured after a car drove into a crowd at a carnival procession in Germany, police said.

Northern Hesse police said a large number of police are at the scene in Volkmarsen, about 175 miles south-west of Berlin, and the driver was arrested.

Local media reported at least a dozen injuries, including children, but police could not immediately confirm the information.

Police shut down the area around the crash to allow emergency crews to deal with the crash.

Police have urged people not to spread "unconfirmed reports" about the incident. 

Images on social media show the emergency service response while concerned onlookers look on. 

Video from the scene showed a silver Mercedes station wagon with local licence plates and its hazard lights blinking on the pavement, while emergency crews walked by.

The crash came amid the height of Germany’s celebration of carnival, with the biggest parades in Cologne, Duesseldorf and Mainz.

Several cities in western Germany cancelled their traditional carnival parades at short notice on Sunday because of inclement weather.

The regional Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported that witnesses said the driver drove around a barrier blocking off traffic from the parade, but that it was not yet clear whether he intentionally headed towards the crowd.

Police say they have not received any reports of any deaths, and do not have a specific number of injuries yet. They say it is too early to say what caused the car to crash into the crowd.