car rams into pedestrians in Australia
Police cordon off Bourke Street after a car ploughed into pedestrians in the centre of Melbourne on Jan. 20, 2017. Getty Images

UPDATE 6.02 a.m. EST — The number of injuries, according to the Australian, rose to 19. The police added the act by the driver, who was only identified as an 19-year-old man with a history of drug use and mental health issues, was “deliberate.” He was arrested from the scene by an off-duty male police officer and was taken to the hospital. The second man who was arrested was 24 years old and the Australian reported the police now believed he had no links to the incident but was assisting them with enquiries.

UPDATE 5.51. a.m. EST — Police said the incident was not being treated as an act of terrorism and the driver of the car was a mentally ill drug addict.

UPDATE 3.57 a.m. EST — The Guardian reported a statement from Melbourne deputy mayor Arron Wood, who was also the acting Lord Mayor:

"There has been an awful incident in the CBD this evening. At this stage, the details of this incident are not fully known. What is known is this: A vehicle has struck and injured at least 13 pedestrians at the corner of Elizabeth and Flinders streets. Victoria Police have arrested two men. Our emergency serves, including Victoria Police, have control of this situation. We have every confidence in them to protect Melbourne in such horrific circumstances. We have the best advice available to us and we will continue to work with the state government and Victoria Police to keep people safe. At this time our thoughts are with those most affected and of course we will provide immediate and long-term support to them."

UPDATE 3.55 a.m. EST — Reports said fourteen people were injured and several were in critical conditions.

Original story

At least 12 people were injured when a car ran into pedestrians outside Flinders Street train station in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday afternoon.

Victoria Police said in a statement on Twitter that police were attending to the incident that occurred on Flinders Street between Elizabeth and Swanston streets and the driver of the car that rammed into people was arrested. A second man, whose identity was not known immediately, was also taken into custody.

Andrea Hamblin, a reporter for the Herald Sun, said on Twitter the driver of the car was arrested and another man was stopped a short while later. Both men were reportedly related and would be questioned by police. The motive behind the attack was not clear. According to local newspaper the Age, an officer at the scene described it as a terrorist incident, but it was not confirmed.

Australian emergency service Ambulance Victoria said in a tweet 13 people were taken to city hospitals and two more were being treated at the scene.

Initial reports put the number of injured at 12 adding that a pre-school child with wounds to the head was among those injured. The child was rushed to the Royal Children's Hospital in a serious condition. The full extent of others’ injuries was not known immediately, but Victoria Ambulance said the condition of some were serious.

According to Australia's Sky News, aerial footage of the scene showed a white Suzuki SUV crashing into a tram stop. The vehicle ran a red light just after 4.30 pm (12.30 a.m. EST) on Thursday, witnesses said.

Sky News, citing radio station 3AW, reported a woman who worked on Elizabeth Street said she heard screams before she saw “people flying everywhere”.

“We could hear this noise, as we looked left, we saw this white car, it just mowed everybody down,” she was quoted as saying. “People are flying everywhere. We heard thump, thump. People are running everywhere.”

Meanwhile, a supposed video of the incident that began circulating on social media showed what appeared to be victims, who were run over, lying on the ground in the aftermath of the incident and others milling around them and attending to their injuries. International Business Times was not able to independently confirm the authenticity of the video.

Victoria Police also asked public for video footage or images, which could assist them with the investigation. Flinders Street station was shut down and police asked all vehicular and pedestrian traffic to avoid the area.

In a similar incident, a 10-year-old girl and a three-month-old boy were among five people who were killed in January when a driver deliberately ran over pedestrians in a busy street in central Melbourne.

At least another 20 people were injured in the incident, Victoria Police said at the time, and added the incident was not terror-related. The driver of the car was identified as James Gargasoulas, who was allegedly involved in a stabbing. He took a woman hostage and sped off in a maroon red car before running over the pedestrians with his erratic driving.

A witness told Sky News at the time "there was just all this noise and mayhem and then all of a sudden police flying everywhere and just bodies lying all over the ground."