Terror In Australia: Speeding Car Rams Into Christmas Shoppers in Melbourne

By External Source - December 21, 2017 at 08:49AM

The Australian citizen of Afghan descent was driving alone when he crashed into pedestrians at high-speed outside Flinders Street Station on Thursday afternoon around 4:45pm. Police are blaming the 32-year-old mans actions on “drug use” and “mental illness”.

Police said he has been taken to hospital in the “fluid investigation” that is still unfolding.

The man is known for “historical assault matters” but is not currently on bail.

The incident is not being treated as a terror investigation “at this time”, despite being supported by counter terrorism teams.

Commissioner Patton said “obviously this is an horrific incident,” however police believe it is “quarantined to singular incident and we’re exploring the extent of that.”

“It’s horrendous and life changing for all emergency services who attend,” Mr Patton said.

“It’s life changing for victims and for those present. Their lives will be changed forever.”

The car ploughed through crowds at rush hour before stopping at a bollard. – Source: Supplied


Nineteeen people were injured including a young child who is believed to have a head injury. Four are in a critical condition while 15 are stable.

The driver and another 24-year-old man were arrested after he was seen filming the incident on his phone and found to be carrying a bag containing knives. However police later said the second man was not in the car and is not believed to be linked to the incident.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews slammed the “act of evil” but praised an off-duty policeman who detained the driver.

“He [the off-duty officer] deserves special praise for the way in which he instinctively came to the rescue of others avoiding so much further carnage.”

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 of the car.

Footage filmed by an eyewitness known as Lachlan Ve showed police kneeling over a man in a white T-shirt and checking his pulse immediately after the incident.

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.”

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.

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. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian – Source: News Corp Australia


A preschool-aged child with head injuries was 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”.

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.

“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.”

The car rammed into pedestrians shortly after 4.30pm near the Flinders St Station. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian – Source: News Corp Australia

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

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.

“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.”

Police, fire and paramedics treat injured pedestrians. Picture: Aaron Francis/The Australian – Source: News Corp Australia

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.


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