Melbourne crash: At least 19 injured after driver 'deliberately' rams car into Flinders street crowd

The driver of the vehicle was arrested at the scene and was identified by Victoria Police as a 32-year-old Australian of Afghan descent.

                            Melbourne crash:  At least 19 injured after driver 'deliberately' rams car into Flinders street crowd

A driver in Melbourne, Australia "deliberately" rammed his car into a dozen of terrified pedestrians on Thursday, injuring at least 19 of them, according to reports.

Police have called this incident a "deliberate" and "cowardly" act. At least two suspects were arrested at the scene of the incident on Flinders street, which was packed with holiday shoppers in Melbourne's central business district.

The authorities said that a young child is among the people who have been injured in the attack. The video footage from the scene showed that the vehicle used in the accident was a white Suzuki SUV. 

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said, "We are all caught up in this. We are all deeply saddened and deeply wounded by this terrible, terrible act."

The driver of the vehicle was reportedly arrested at the scene and was identified by Victoria Police as a 32-year-old Australian of Afghan descent. The authorities said that the suspect has a history of mental health issues and drug abuse, according to reports.

Victoria Police also said that they arrested another person after he was seen filming the incident. Reports state that the second suspect was found with three knives in his backpack. However, officials believe that there is no connection between the second suspect and the driver.

Melbourne police officials (Getty Images)

The authorities said that they do not know the motivation behind the attack yet and they have not determined whether it was a terror-related incident. The attack occurred just after 4:30 pm local time.

Police said that out of the 19 people injured, "several" of them are in critical condition and some are stable. Report state that the driver and an officer, who arrested the perpetrator, were included in the number of people injured in the incident.

A four-year-old girl was rushed to hospital with a serious head injury, according to 9News reports.

"I heard a bit of a bang behind me, even though I had my headphones in with a bit of audio," Paul Calahane, a pedestrian present at the incident scene told ABC News.

"I leaned forward, thinking it was a blast, then I saw people running. I saw people just scattered on the road. ... There were people running, screaming, thinking it was a bomb," Calahane added. 

The pedestrian added that when he turned to see what had happened, he saw the white SUV across the street, which had plowed into a light pole. He then saw that the man was pulled out of the vehicle and arrested.

Pictures of the incident scene (Twitter)

"Within a minute there was about 40, 50 people on the scene," he said. "They were really pushing people back from the scene."

Victoria Police said that there is an active investigation ongoing into the incident. 

"Police are currently attending an incident on Flinders Street between Elizabeth and Swanston streets where a vehicle has collided with a number of pedestrians," Victoria Police initially tweeted around 5 pm local time. "Police have arrested the driver of the car. The extent of injuries is not known at this stage."

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