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Car strikes pedestrians during rush hour in New York City

Paramedics rushed to the scene on the east side of Midtown Manhattan.

Several pedestrians were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle accelerated and struck them during a demonstration Friday afternoon in New York City, authorities said.

A fire official told NBC News that six others suffered minor injuries.

The collision, reported shortly after 4 p.m., happened at East 39th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan during what a senior police official said was "the People March in Solidarity With ICE Detainees."

A witness told NBC New York a BMW struck a group of demonstrators. "The woman is plowing through, I run out of the way, I see bodies flying," she said.

Paramedics, firefighters and police officers rushed to the scene, where a scooter-based officer flagged down the driver and a passenger, police said. The two were being questioned by New York Police Department investigators.

A city official briefed on recent protests said this was one of several collisions where protesters gathered near vehicles, and drivers panicked and accidentally accelerated.