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Melbourne crash: Driver arrested after hitting pedestrians

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The crash happened on Flinders Street, a busy junction in the centre of the city

Australian police have arrested two people after a car drove into a crowd in Melbourne.

The car “collided with a number of pedestrians” on Flinders Street, a busy junction in the centre of the city, said Victoria Police.

The state ambulance service say 13 people have been taken to hospital. Several are in a critical condition.

Police have said it was a deliberate act but it is too early to say whether it was terrorist-related.

They have asked people to avoid the area.

The driver and another man have been detained.

The incident happened just after 16:30 local time (05:30 GMT).

Emergency services quickly arrived on the scene

Images from the scene show a number of people lying on the ground close to a large white vehicle.

Victoria Ambulance said in a statement that a child of pre-school age had been taken to hospital with serious head injuries.

Police have cordoned off the area by Flinders Street station

One witness told local radio station 3AW the car had “just mowed everybody down, people were flying everywhere”.

Another witness, Lachlan Read, told the Herald Sun the whole incident lasted about 15 seconds.

“He has gone straight through the red light at pace and it was bang, bang, bang. It was just one after the other,” he said of the moment the vehicle started hitting people.

The leader of the Australian opposition, Bill Shorten, tweeted about the “shocking scenes” and praised the emergency services.

In January, six people died when a man drove a car into pedestrians on Bourke Street.

Afterwards, city authorities installed concrete blocks in various locations – including on Flinders Street – hoping to prevent vehicle-based attacks.

A file images shows the concrete protection blocks on Flinders Street, installed after a previous incident

In September, a 15-year-old boy dressed in black combat gear was seen driving erratically down nearby Swanston Street.

After a confrontation with police he was subdued with a Taser outside Flinders Street Station. Police later said it was not a terrorist incident.

 

 

Ref:  BBC News

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