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Car crashes into Melbourne’s Flinders Street Station crowd

A white SUV crashed into the crowd of pedestrians near to Flinders Street Station during peak hour T..

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  • A white SUV crashed into the crowd of pedestrians near to Flinders Street Station during peak hour Thursday
  • At least 14 people are in hospital, several critical including one child with serious head injuries
  • Witnesses described seeing the car run a red light and hurtle towards the crowds, hitting a tram stop bollard
  • One said: 'It just mowed everybody down, people were flying everywhere'
  • The incident comes almost a year after the Bourke Street Mall rampage and brought the CBD to a standstill

By Emily Pidgeon and Daniel Piotrowski In Melbourne For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 01:08 EST, 21 December 2017 | Updated: 03:53 EST, 21 December 2017

More than a dozen pedestrians, including a toddler, have been injured after a car 'deliberately' ploughed into rush hour crowds amid chaotic scenes in the heart of Melbourne.

The drama unfolded as the white Suzuki SUV crashed into the group of panicked commuters and shoppers at the corner of Melbourne's busy Elizabeth Street and Flinders Street at 4.41pm on Thursday.

At least 14 people, one in a serious condition, were taken to hospital including a pre-school aged child with serious head injuries.

It is unknown if this is a terror related incident although police believe it was a deliberate act.

Two men in the vehicle, who were driving the car with green P plates, have been arrested and are in police custody.

More than a dozen pedestrians, including a toddler, have been injured after a car ploughed into rush hour crowds (pictured)

More than a dozen pedestrians, including a toddler, have been injured after a car ploughed into rush hour crowds (pictured)

Chaotic scenes unfolded during peak-hour as the white SUV crashed into the group of panicked pedestrians (pictured)Chaotic scenes unfolded during peak-hour as the white SUV crashed into the group of panicked pedestrians (pictured)

Chaotic scenes unfolded during peak-hour as the white SUV crashed into the group of panicked pedestrians (pictured)

Footage shows one of the men in a white shirt with a beard (pictured) being pulled to the gutter away from the vehicle Footage shows one of the men in a white shirt with a beard (pictured) being pulled to the gutter away from the vehicle 

Footage shows one of the men in a white shirt with a beard (pictured) being pulled to the gutter away from the vehicle

Two men were arrested at the scene after the white SUV (pictured) crashed into a bollard at Flinders Street StationTwo men were arrested at the scene after the white SUV (pictured) crashed into a bollard at Flinders Street Station

Two men were arrested at the scene after the white SUV (pictured) crashed into a bollard at Flinders Street Station

Footage shows one of the men in a white shirt with a beard being pulled to the gutter away from the vehicle.

The second man in a red checked shirt, also with a beard, was arrested a short time later.

An eye-witness described seeing the car hurtling towards the crowd.

She told radio station 3AW: 'It just mowed everybody down, people were flying everywhere.

'We heard thump, thump. People are running everywhere.'

Victoria Police dragged the man in a white shirt (pictured) from the white Suzuki to the gutter shortly after the incidentVictoria Police dragged the man in a white shirt (pictured) from the white Suzuki to the gutter shortly after the incident

Victoria Police dragged the man in a white shirt (pictured) from the white Suzuki to the gutter shortly after the incident

Footage shows the damaged car surrounded by dozens of injured pedestrians while police arrest the driver (pictured)Footage shows the damaged car surrounded by dozens of injured pedestrians while police arrest the driver (pictured)

Footage shows the damaged car surrounded by dozens of injured pedestrians while police arrest one man (pictured)

The second man in a red checked shirt, also with a beard (pictured), was arrested a short time after the 'deliberate' incidentThe second man in a red checked shirt, also with a beard (pictured), was arrested a short time after the 'deliberate' incident

The second man in a red checked shirt, also with a beard (pictured), was arrested a short time after the 'deliberate' incident

Dozens of people were hit by the car with witnesses saying they saw the car doing burnouts before the incidentDozens of people were hit by the car with witnesses saying they saw the car doing burnouts before the incident

Dozens of people were hit by the car with witnesses saying they saw the car doing burnouts before the incident

A witness told Nine News they thought the car was travelling at about 60km/h as it drove into busy crowds (pictured)A witness told Nine News they thought the car was travelling at about 60km/h as it drove into busy crowds (pictured)

A witness told Nine News they thought the car was travelling at about 60km/h as it drove into busy crowds (pictured)

The white Suzuki SUV (pictured) was forced to stop its rampage when it crashed into a bollard near Flinders Street StationThe white Suzuki SUV (pictured) was forced to stop its rampage when it crashed into a bollard near Flinders Street Station

The white Suzuki SUV (pictured) was forced to stop its rampage when it crashed into a bollard near Flinders Street Station

A car crashed into the crowds at Melbourne 's Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street (pictured) causing dramatic scenesA car crashed into the crowds at Melbourne 's Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street (pictured) causing dramatic scenes

A car crashed into the crowds at Melbourne 's Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street (pictured) causing dramatic scenes

Ambulance Victoria said paramedics were called to the scene (pictured) at 4.41pm Thursday and several are criticalAmbulance Victoria said paramedics were called to the scene (pictured) at 4.41pm Thursday and several are critical

Ambulance Victoria said paramedics were called to the scene (pictured) at 4.41pm Thursday and several are critical

Dramatic footage shows a number of injured pedestrians being treated by passerbys as they wait for paramedics.

Vince Harris, the manager of the Freechoice tobacconist at Flinders Street Station, was nearby in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

He was on the scene from about two minutes after the car collided and could see the cracked windscreen and Good Samaritans trying to save injured pedestrians.

'A few ladies were screaming but it was calm – there were no sirens, nothing,' Mr Harris said.

'I was here when the other one (the Bourke Street tragedy) happened …. you get desensitised.'

Vince Harris, the manager of the Freechoice tobacconist at Flinders Street Station, was near the crash aftermath (pictured)Vince Harris, the manager of the Freechoice tobacconist at Flinders Street Station, was near the crash aftermath (pictured)

Vince Harris, the manager of the Freechoice tobacconist at Flinders Street Station, was near the crash aftermath (pictured)

The heart of Melbourne's CBD is in lock down after the car ploughed down a number of shoppers and commuters (pictured)The heart of Melbourne's CBD is in lock down after the car ploughed down a number of shoppers and commuters (pictured)

The heart of Melbourne's CBD is in lock down after the car ploughed down a number of shoppers and commuters (pictured)

14 people, one in a serious condition, were taken to hospital including a pre-school aged child with serious head injuries14 people, one in a serious condition, were taken to hospital including a pre-school aged child with serious head injuries

14 people, one in a serious condition, were taken to hospital including a pre-school aged child with serious head injuries

 Police have locked down vast areas of the city taking in Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street (pictured) Police have locked down vast areas of the city taking in Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street (pictured)

Police have locked down vast areas of the city taking in Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street (pictured)

One witness's husband told Daily Mail Australia his wife was taken to Melbourne West with other onlookers to be interviewedOne witness's husband told Daily Mail Australia his wife was taken to Melbourne West with other onlookers to be interviewed

One witness's husband told Daily Mail Australia his wife was taken to Melbourne West with other onlookers to be interviewed

Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital 

Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital

One witness's husband told Daily Mail Australia his wife had been taken to Melbourne West with other onlookers to be interviewed.

Police have locked down vast areas of the city taking in Flinders Street, Flinders Lane and Elizabeth Street.

A child at pre-school suffered head injuries and was taken to the Royal Children's Hospital in a serious condition.

Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital but the extent of the injuries are unknown.

Eye-witnesses told 9 News the saw the white SUV being driven at about 60km/h before it smashed into dozens of pedestrians.

Another witness told 3AW there were about 'five to seven people laying on the ground'.

More could have been injured if not for the vehicle crashing into a bollard at the tram stop out the front of Flinders Street Station.

Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital 

Three people were taken to The Alfred Hospital and three people were taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital

Police said the driver of the car and a second man were arrested after what they believe was a 'deliberate' attack in the CBDPolice said the driver of the car and a second man were arrested after what they believe was a 'deliberate' attack in the CBD

Police said the driver of the car and a second man were arrested after what they believe was a 'deliberate' attack in the CBD

A child at pre-school suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Royal Children's Hospital (white SUV pictured)A child at pre-school suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Royal Children's Hospital (white SUV pictured)

A child at pre-school suffered serious head injuries and was taken to Royal Children's Hospital (white SUV pictured)

More could have been injured if the white Suzuki did not crash into a bollard after about '15 seconds' of traumaMore could have been injured if the white Suzuki did not crash into a bollard after about '15 seconds' of trauma

More could have been injured if the white Suzuki did not crash into a bollard after about '15 seconds' of trauma

Lachlan Read, 20, told The Herald Sun the whole rampage 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,' Mr Read said.

'There were bodies on the ground and people running up to them – it was mayhem.'

A childcare centre and other buildings along Flinders Street were evacuated.

The carnage comes almost a year after six people were killed and 30 injured when a car ploughed through the Bourke Street Mall.

The driver, Dimitrious Gargasoulas, was charged with six counts of murder after he allegedly used a maroon Holden Commodore sedan to run down shoppers during the lunch break.

A child and two adults were amoung those who died following the attack as well as a three-month-old baby boy.

A childcare centre and other buildings along Flinders Street were evacuated shortly after the incident Thursday A childcare centre and other buildings along Flinders Street were evacuated shortly after the incident Thursday 

A childcare centre and other buildings along Flinders Street were evacuated shortly after the incident Thursday

A witness told Melbourne's 3AW radio station there were about 'five to seven people laying on the ground' (pictured)A witness told Melbourne's 3AW radio station there were about 'five to seven people laying on the ground' (pictured)

A witness told Melbourne's 3AW radio station there were about 'five to seven people laying on the ground' (pictured)

'People were flying everywhere ... people running everywhere' a witness told the 3AW radio station on Thursday (pictured)'People were flying everywhere ... people running everywhere' a witness told the 3AW radio station on Thursday (pictured)

'People were flying everywhere … people running everywhere' a witness told the 3AW radio station on Thursday (pictured)

Police said Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street have been closed off as a crime scene while investigations continuePolice said Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street have been closed off as a crime scene while investigations continue

Police said Flinders Street and Elizabeth Street have been closed off as a crime scene while investigations continue

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Australia

Sydney seaplane crash: Exhaust fumes affected pilot, report confirms

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The pilot of a seaplane that crashed into an Australian river, killing all on board, had been left confused and disorientated by leaking exhaust fumes, investigators have confirmed.

The Canadian pilot and five members of a British family died in the crash north of Sydney in December 2017.

All were found to have higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide in their blood, a final report has found.

It recommended the mandatory fitting of gas detectors in all such planes.

British businessman Richard Cousins, 58, died alongside his 48-year-old fiancée, magazine editor Emma Bowden, her 11-year-old daughter Heather and his sons, Edward, 23, and William, 25, and pilot Gareth Morgan, 44. Mr Cousins was the chief executive of catering giant Compass.

The family had been on a sightseeing flight in the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver plane when it nose-dived into the Hawkesbury River at Jerusalem Bay, about 50km (30 miles) from the city centre.

The final report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) confirmed the findings of an interim report published in 2020.

It said pre-existing cracks in the exhaust collector ring were believed to have released exhaust gas into the engine bay. Holes left by missing bolts in a firewall then allowed the fumes to enter the cabin.

“As a result, the pilot would have almost certainly experienced effects such as confusion, visual disturbance and disorientation,” the report said.

“Consequently, it was likely that this significantly degraded the pilot’s ability to safely operate the aircraft.”

The ATSB recommended the Civil Aviation Safety Authority consider mandating the fitting of carbon monoxide detectors in piston-engine aircraft that carry passengers.

It previously issued safety advisory notices to owners and operators of such aircraft that they install detectors “with an active warning” to pilots”. Operators and maintainers of planes were also advised to carry out detailed inspections of exhaust systems and firewalls.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55862128

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Australia

Australia unlikely to fully reopen border in 2021, says top official

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Australia is unlikely to fully open its borders in 2021 even if most of its population gets vaccinated this year as planned, says a senior health official.

The comments dampen hopes raised by airlines that travel to and from the country could resume as early as July.

Department of Health Secretary Brendan Murphy made the prediction after being asked about the coronavirus’ escalation in other nations.

Dr Murphy spearheaded Australia’s early action to close its borders last March.

“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on Monday.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said, adding that he believed quarantine requirements for travellers would continue “for some time”.

Citizens, permanent residents and those with exemptions are allowed to enter Australia if they complete a 14-day hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Qantas – Australia’s national carrier – reopened bookings earlier this month, after saying it expected international travel to “begin to restart from July 2021.”

However, it added this depended on the Australian government’s deciding to reopen borders.

Australia’s tight restrictions

The country opened a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand late last year, but currently it only operates one-way with inbound flights to Australia.

Australia has also discussed the option of travel bubbles with other low-risk places such as Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

A vaccination scheme is due to begin in Australia in late February. Local authorities have resisted calls to speed up the process, giving more time for regulatory approvals.

Australia has so far reported 909 deaths and about 22,000 cases, far fewer than many nations. It reported zero locally transmitted infections on Monday.

Experts have attributed much of Australia’s success to its swift border lockdown – which affected travellers from China as early as February – and a hotel quarantine system for people entering the country.

Local outbreaks have been caused by hotel quarantine breaches, including a second wave in Melbourne. The city’s residents endured a stringent four-month lockdown last year to successfully suppress the virus.

Other outbreaks – including one in Sydney which has infected about 200 people – prompted internal border closures between states, and other restrictions around Christmas time.

The state of Victoria said on Monday it would again allow entry to Sydney residents outside of designated “hotspots”, following a decline in cases.

While the measures have been praised, many have also criticised them for separating families across state borders and damaging businesses.

Dr Murphy said overall Australia’s virus response had been “pretty good” but he believed the nation could have introduced face masks earlier and improved its protections in aged care homes.

In recent days, Australia has granted entry to about 1,200 tennis players, staff and officials for the Australian Open. The contingent – which has recorded at least nine infections – is under quarantine.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55699581

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Australia

Covid: Brisbane to enter three-day lockdown over single infection

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The Australian city of Brisbane has begun a snap three-day lockdown after a cleaner in its hotel quarantine system became infected with coronavirus.

Health officials said the cleaner had the highly transmissible UK variant and they were afraid it could spread.

Brisbane has seen very few cases of the virus beyond quarantined travellers since Australia’s first wave last year.

It is the first known instance of this variant entering the Australian community outside of hotel quarantine.

The lockdown is for five populous council areas in Queensland’s state capital.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the measure on Friday morning local time, about 16 hours after the woman tested positive.

Ms Palaszczuk said the lockdown aimed to halt the virus as rapidly as possible, adding: “Doing three days now could avoid doing 30 days in the future.”

“I think everybody in Queensland… knows what we are seeing in the UK and other places around the world is high rates of infection from this particular strain,” she said.

“And we do not want to see that happening here in our great state.”

Australia has reported 28,500 coronavirus infections and 909 deaths since the pandemic began. By contrast, the US, which is the hardest-hit country, has recorded more than 21 million infections while nearly 362,000 people have died of the disease.The lockdown will begin at 18:00 on Friday (08:00 GMT) in the Brisbane city, Logan and the Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands local government areas.

Residents will only be allowed to leave home for certain reasons, such as buying essential items and seeking medical care.

For the first time, residents in those areas will also be required to wear masks outside of their homes.

Australia has faced sporadic outbreaks over the past year, with the most severe one in Melbourne triggering a lockdown for almost four months.

A pre-Christmas outbreak in Sydney caused fresh alarm, but aggressive testing and contact-tracing has kept infection numbers low. The city recorded four local cases on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has pledged to start mass vaccinations in February instead of March as was planned.

Lockdown interrupts ‘near normal’ life in Brisbane

Simon Atkinson, BBC News in Brisbane

At 8:00 today I popped to the local supermarket for some bread, milk – and because it’s summer here – a mango. I was pretty much the only customer.

When I went past the same shop a couple of hours later it was a different story – 50 people standing in the drizzle – queuing to get inside as others emerged with bulging shopping bags. “Heaps busier than Christmas,” a cheery trolley attendant told me. “It’s off the scale”.

Despite the “don’t panic” messages from authorities, pictures on social media show it’s a pattern being repeated across the city.

While shutdowns are common around the world, the tough and sudden stay-at-home order for Brisbane has caught people on the hop here after months of near normality.

But while such a rapid, hard lockdown off the back of just a single case of Covid-19 will seem crazy in some parts of the world, I’ve not come across too many people complaining.

And I don’t think that’s just because Aussies love to follow a rule. This is the first time the UK variant of the virus has been detected in the community in Australia.

And nobody here wants Brisbane to go through what Melbourne suffered last year. Even if it means going without mangoes.

Read from source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-55582836

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