In an as yet unexplained occurrence, a car was deliberately driven onto the footpath in Central Melbourne injuring 14 people. The police state that no motive has been identified.
Authorities have arrested the driver and a second man in relation to the incident. In a statement made, the authorities said they believed the driver struck the pedestrians intentionally.
The incident holds a number of similarities to an attack which took place in Manhattan in November. The U.S. attacker was identified as one Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an Uzbek national who claimed he had carried out the attack in the name of the terrorist organization, ISIS.
Australian police have stated that while the similarities are striking, there has been no evidence that the attack was ISIS related.
Speaking to the media, the commander of the Victorian Police group, Russell Barrett stated, “At this stage we have 14 people injured and several are critical. At this stage we believe it was a deliberate act”.
The police have appealed for information from any eyewitnesses who may have witnessed the attack. Some have taken to Twitter to explain their experiences.
One stated that the attack happened in a white sports utility vehicle which had halted near the Flinders Street railway station. The spot was near the path commuters use to enter and exit the station. The witness told Reuters that the accident had “delayed traffic” as trains and trams were diverted in order to clear the area.
The incident took place on a busy part of Australia’s shopping area known as Flinders street.
Surprisingly, this is the second major accident to take place in the area. In January four people were killed and 20 left injured after a man deliberately drove into pedestrians in a spot not far from the site of the current attack.
At the time, Australian authorities had stated that the incident was not terrorism related.