Home International Pedestrians hit by car in ‘deliberate act’ in Melbourne, two men arrested

Pedestrians hit by car in ‘deliberate act’ in Melbourne, two men arrested


Two men have been arrested after more than a dozen people, including a preschool-aged child, were injured when a car ran into pedestrians outside Melbourne's Flinders Street train station.

Key points:

  • A white 4WD drives through pedestrians before crashing into a tram stop
  • Fourteen people hurt, several in a critical condition
  • Police arrest two men including the driver and believe it was a "deliberate act"

Police said 14 people had been injured, several critically, in what was believed to be a deliberate attack.

"We believe based on what we have seen that it is a deliberate act. The motivations are unknown," Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett said.

Two people, including the driver, were arrested at the scene.

Asked if the incident was being treated as a terrorist attack, Commander Barrett said: "It is the early days of the investigation and that is unknown".

More than a dozen people were hurt when the car ran into pedestrians

A witness, John, described seeing an SUV travelling "at high speed" and "hitting people" just after 4:30pm.

"I saw a car, a SUV coming at high speed and really just heard the collision with people with bags and what must be shopping trolleys — and I hope not prams," he told ABC Radio Melbourne.

Aerial picture of a car that hit several pedestrians in Melbourne's CBD.

"I've really never seen anything like this before and I haven't stopped shaking."

The injured include a preschool-aged child with a head injury, who was taken to the Royal Children's Hospital in a serious condition.

The owner of a bakery on Flinders Street, identified as Jim, said the intersection was "full of pedestrians" when the car drove through it.

"He came to rest just next to the tram stop — maybe the side of the tram stop stopped him — but the only thing that seemed to be slowing him down was the amount of pedestrians he had hit.

"All you could hear was just 'bang bang bang bang bang'."

Police believe the incident was a 'deliberate act'Aerial shot of a white vehicle on a street

'There was blood and people crying'

Another witness, David, said the car appeared to be travelling between 60 and 100 kilometres per hour.

External Link: Daniel Andrews tweets: As you will know, there's been a horrible incident on Flinders St. Police have secured the scene and will provide info as it's confirmed.

"So it hit people in a fair speed and at least one or two of them got thrown pretty high into the air," he said.

"When the police arrived, which was probably after about two to three minutes at the most, they arrested the driver."

Sarah, 18, and a friend said they got off a train at Flinders Street Station and saw people crying.

"It was scary because we didn't know what was going on," Sarah said.

Witness Jim describes how the Flinders Street Station incident unfolded

She said the scene outside the station was "horrific" and the injuries looked "very serious".

External Link: Danny Tran tweets: Absolute chaos at Flinders St Station

"We saw like 10 pedestrians on the ground," Sarah said.

"There were three groups of people surrounding them and there was blood and people crying and it was just very, very sad."

Police said they "saturated the CBD area in the vicinity of Flinders, Elizabeth and Swanston streets to ensure community safety".

Counsellors were also sent to the scene.

Commander Barrett said the crime scene would remain in place for a considerable time and he urged people to avoid the area.

Paramedics attend the scene of an incident near Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.

He said people who had left vehicles or items inside the crime scene would not be able to retrieve them until it reopened.

External Link: James Oaten tweets: Corner of Flinders St and Swanston St remains blocked off after #FlindersSt incident. @abcnews

"Police will continue to have a strong presence in the Melbourne CBD tonight," Commander Barrett said.

"We understand this has been a very traumatic event and there'll be witnesses, victims and family members affected."

Melbourne has been on high alert for a pedestrian attack since a driver allegedly ran down pedestrians in the busy Bourke Street mall in January.

Temporary concrete bollards were subsequently placed around key CBD locations, including Southern Cross Station and Federation Square, to prevent vehicle attacks.

The Victorian Government has since begun replacing them with permanent security features, such as planter boxes, as part of a $10 million CBD security upgrade.

A crowd forms outside Flinders St Station behind police tape. Five police face the crowd.

In a tweet, Premier Daniel Andrews said there had been a "horrible incident".

"Stay safe. Check on your loved ones. And thank you to our brave emergency service," Mr Andrews wrote.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to attend the Melbourne West Police Station at 313 Spencer Street, Melbourne or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

They have also asked for anyone with video footage or images to upload them via the Police Evidence Submission Site.

External Link: Danny Tran tweets: Police tightly controlling the scene at Flinders St StationExternal Link: Flinder Street accidentA police officer at the scene of an incident near Flinders Street Station in Melbourne.External Link: Danny Tran tweets: The corner of Elizabeth and Collins, blocked off by police. You can see Flinders Street in the distance

Original Article

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