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Melbourne crash: Driver arrested after hitting pedestrians

Police have cordoned off the area by Flinders Street station, Melbourne, after a car hit people, 21 December 2017Image copyright

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Police have cordoned off the area by Flinders Street station

Australian police have arrested a driver after a car drove into a crowd in Melbourne.

The car “collided with a number of pedestrians” on Flinders Street, a busy junction in the centre of the city, said Victoria Police.

The state ambulance service said 13 people have been taken to hospital. At least two others are being treated at the scene.

Police have asked people to avoid the area.

They have not said there is any indication the incident is terror-related.

Images from the scene show a number of people lying on the ground close to a large white vehicle.

Victoria Ambulance said, in a statement, that a child of pre-school age has been taken to hospital with serious head injuries.

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A file images shows the concrete protection blocks on Flinders Street, installed after a previous incident

One witness told local radio station 3AW the car had “just mowed everybody down, people were flying everywhere”.

Another witness, Lachlan Read, told the Herald Sun 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,” he said of the moment the vehicle started hitting people.

The leader of the Australian opposition, Bill Shorten, tweeted about the “shocking scenes” and praised the emergency services.

In January, six people died when a man drove a car into pedestrians on Bourke Street.

Afterwards, city authorities installed concrete blocks in various locations – including on Flinders Street – hoping to prevent vehicle-based attacks.

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