Car mows down pedestrians outside Melbourne's Flinders Street station

 ‘Deliberate act’: Car mows down pedestrians outside Melbourne’s Flinders Street station


The area is expected to remain a crimescene for some time

TWO men have been arrested after a four-wheel-drive was used to plough through pedestrians outside Melbourne's Flinders St station.

FOURTEEN people have been injured by a four-wheel-drive in the centre of Melbourne, in what police say was “a deliberate act”.

Several people are in a critical condition after the car slammed into crowds at high speed outside Melbourne’s Flinders Street station, then crashed into a bollard.
Police confirmed two men, the driver of the vehicle and a second man, were arrested after the carnage which began about 4.45pm in the CBD. Neither has been charged.

“At this stage, we believe it was a deliberate act. The motivations are unknown. It’s still early days in the investigation,” Victoria Police Commander Russell Barrett said.

Asked whether police had ruled out a terror attack, he repeated it was “early days in the investigation and motivation is unknown”.

He confirmed 14 people were in hospital after the incident. Extensive footage from eyewitnesses shows a man in a white shirt and blue jeans being dragged from the passenger side of the vehicle while others lie on the ground. Smoke is pouring out of the bonnet.

A four year old child is believed to be among those injured

Another photo shows a man in a red-and-black chequered shirt sitting on the ground with his arms cuffed behind his back.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his “thoughts and prayers” are with the victims and the emergency services workers tending to them.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said “there’s been a horrible incident on Flinders St.”

“Police have secured the scene and will provide info as it’s confirmed. Please avoid the area. Trains running but trams affected. Stay safe. Check on your loved ones. And thank you to our brave emergency services.”

A man is dragged from the white SUV by police after it rammed into pedestrians on Flinders St.


The shocking event comes nearly three years on from the Sydney siege which occurred on the 15th of December 2014.

It also coincided with a reported gas bottle explosion at Frankston Bayside shopping centre that police are not treating as related.

Paramedics treat a number of pedestrians


Police check the pulse of a man who appeared to have lost consciousness

CHILD AMONG INJURED


A preschool-aged child with head injuries has been transported to Royal Children’s Hospital in a serious condition.

Those needing treatment were transported to The Royal Melbourne and Alfred Hospital. More were being treated at the scene, Ambulance Victoria said.

Witnesses described horrific scenes that included “people flying everywhere” as the carnage unfolded at the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders streets during rush hour.

The vehicle ran a red light just after 4.30pm, witnesses told local radio station 3AW, before mowing into pedestrians. Bystanders said the vehicle made “no effort to slow down”.

Police, Fire and Paramedics treat a number of pedestrians on the corner of Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street in Melbourne after a car is believed to have ploughed through a busy intersection

Sue, from Walker’s Doughnuts, said: “We could hear this noise, as we looked left, we saw this white car, it just mauled everybody down. People are flying everywhere. We heard thump, thump. People are running everywhere.”

Witness Jim said the Suzuki was travelling west along Flinders Street at up to 100km/h.

Police said it’s being treated as a deliberate act.

“The intersection was full of pedestrians and he just ploughed through,” he told ABC TV.

“The only thing that slowed him down was him hitting pedestrians. “There was no braking, there was no slowing down. Whether it was targeted or whether he had a heart attack, or was drunk, I don’t know.”

Lauren Lopatko tweeted: “Something just happened outside Elizabeth St tram stop outside Flinders St station. Avoid area if you can. I saw ppl screaming & smoke.”

Reddit user TheElderGodsSmile added: “Sister in law said ... he knocked them over like skittles. Bloody awful.”

Police, fire and paramedics treat injured pedestrians

Fright_ posted: “Saw grown men and women crying on Platform 1 of Flinders St station. Overheard phone conversation mentioning car hitting people. Seems like I got there a few mins after it happened. Elizabeth St entrance to Flinders is closed. That big intersection being blocked off by police about 15 miss ago. Heaps of emergency services there now.”

Elton Hindoli, who works in the area, said a man who was pulled from the car appeared to be unconscious.

“A girl came into the shop and she was very upset,” he said. “It wasn’t clear if the driver was hitting them on purpose or not. It sounded like the man who they took out of the car was not awake.”

Lachlan Read said 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. The last bang the car stopped,” the 20-year-old said.


The car plowed through crowds at rush hour before stopping at a bollard

“There were bodies on the ground and people running up to them - it was mayhem.”

Vince was working in a shop at Flinders Street Station and rushed to the scene before emergency services arrived.

“There was no screaming, just people lying there,” he told AAP, adding that onlookers were quick to lend a hand.

“They were just holding them and comforting them.”


An hour after the car struck pedestrians, police were continuing to swarm the area, and Flinders Street had been cleared and locked down.

Police helicopters, fire engines and ambulances remain in the area. Victorian Police said forces and emergency services will stay on scene for the “foreseeable future.”

“The crime scene is active and will remain in place for some time. We urge people who can avoid the area, to avoid the area,” police said.

The car rammed into pedestrians shortly after 4.30pm near the Flinders St Station.

Those with video footage or images which may assist police with their investigation are being urged to upload it here.

Anyone with information is also being urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.



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