Witnesses stated folks had been thrown via the air after being hit by the car, which didn’t seem like making an attempt to cease because it “mowed all people down”.
Victoria state police stated they’d arrested two males, together with the motive force of a automobile that “collided with a lot of pedestrians” at a busy intersection in downtown Melbourne.
“We consider based mostly on what now we have seen that it’s a deliberate act. The motivations are unknown,” Victoria Police’s Commander Russell Barrett informed reporters.
Barrett wouldn’t touch upon whether or not the incident was terror-related, solely saying “it’s the early days of the investigation and that’s unknown”.
Paramedics had taken a lot of folks to hospital, a few of them with severe accidents, ambulance officers stated.
Sky Information Australia reported they included a pre-school youngster with a grave head damage.
Pictures from the scene confirmed one man carrying a long-sleeved high being dragged from a white Suzuki Grand Vitara, whereas a bearded second man carrying a crimson checked shirt was seen handcuffed and sitting on the bottom.
In a tweet, police appealed to members of the general public to add any pictures they could have of the incident to assist help with their investigation.
A witness, named solely as Sue, informed Melbourne radio station 3AW that she heard screams and noticed “folks flying in all places”.
“We might hear this noise, as we regarded left, we noticed this white automobile, it simply mowed all people down,” she stated.
“Individuals are flying in all places. We heard thump, thump. Individuals are operating in all places.”
One other witness, John, informed ABC Radio Melbourne that he noticed an “SUV coming at excessive pace”.
“(I) actually simply heard the collision with folks with luggage and what have to be procuring trolleys — and I hope not prams,” he stated.
“I’ve actually by no means seen something like this earlier than and I have never stopped shaking.”
The intersection is one in every of Melbourne’s busiest, a neighborhood store proprietor informed nationwide broadcaster ABC, and is especially crowded at the moment of the yr forward of the Christmas break, with faculty holidays underneath means.
The incident got here months after a automobile mowed down pedestrians in Melbourne’s busiest mall in January, killing six folks.
The motive force, whose case remains to be being heard in courtroom, had been pursued by police previous to the rampage after he had allegedly stabbed his brother.
The assault, which was not terror-related, shocked Australians and happened close to Melbourne Park the place high tennis stars had been enjoying in 2017’s opening Grand Slam.
Canberra has turn into more and more apprehensive about homegrown extremism and officers say they’ve prevented 13 terror assaults on residence soil up to now few years.
The Australian authorities in August unveiled a method geared toward stopping car assaults in crowded public locations.
Instructed steps embody deterrent choices like fencing and closed circuit cameras, and delaying approaches comparable to bushes and bollards to decelerate autos.
Melbourne has additionally been putting in a public siren system and extra safety cameras to warn folks of a attainable terrorist assault or different severe threats.
However the Age newspaper stated the warning sirens had not been activated for Thursday’s incident, and police didn’t seem to have enacted counter-terrorism lock-down methods both.
Maim and kill
Whereas the circumstances surrounding Thursday’s incident had been nonetheless unclear, there have been a number of circumstances of autos getting used to intentionally maim and kill.
Probably the most lethal such case was within the southern French metropolis of Good on July 14, 2016, when 31-year-old Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel ploughed a 19-tonne truck down a beachside promenade, killing 86 folks and injuring a whole bunch extra.
Virtually precisely one yr in the past, on December 12, one other Tunisian nationwide, 24-year-old Anis Amri, hijacked a truck and slammed it into crowds of individuals at a Christmas market in Berlin.
A complete of 12 folks died in that assault with dozens injured. Amri was shot lifeless 4 days later in Milan, with the Islamic State group claiming accountability.
Extra not too long ago, eight folks had been killed in New York when a pick-up truck was pushed into cyclists and pedestrians, in what was described as the primary lethal “act of terror” within the metropolis because the September 11, 2001, assaults.
Different lethal assaults utilizing autos have taken place this yr in London, Stockholm and Barcelona.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)