Car Ploughs Into Pedestrians in Melbourne

A victim receives help at the scene in Melbourne,  Australia, on Jan. 20.A victim receives help at the scene in Melbourne,  Australia, on Jan. 20.

A man deliberately drove into a street crowded with pedestrians in Australia’s second-largest city on Friday, killing at least three people and injuring 20 others, police said.

Officials said the incident had no links to terrorism.

The chaos began in the early afternoon, after a man was seen driving in erratic circles in the middle of a major intersection in downtown Melbourne. The driver then turned onto the Bourke Street Mall, a pedestrian-only road, deliberately colliding with pedestrians before continuing onto a sidewalk and hitting several other people, Victoria State Police Acting Commander Stuart Bateson was quoted as saying by AP.

“The man was arrested at the scene and there was no further threat to the public,” Bateson said.

Police believe the incident is somehow connected to a stabbing that had occurred in the city earlier in the day.

The incident comes amid global concern over terror attacks using vehicles to strike crowds, following truck attacks in Berlin and Nice, France last year. Bateson said the Melbourne incident had no links to terrorism.

“At this present stage, we ask the public to avoid the city,” Bateson told reporters. “It is going to take us a really long time to process this scene. Our priority at the moment is with the injured and it must be that we give them our attention.”

Video footage shot from a news helicopter overhead showed several heavily armed police officers standing near the area where the incident occurred. Several officers could be seen standing over a man lying on the sidewalk, clad only in his underwear, his hands apparently handcuffed behind his back. Police could also be seen examining a heavily damaged red car at the scene.

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