Three dead and 20 injured after auto ploughs into pedestrians


A man deliberately drove into a street crowded with pedestrians, police said.

A shop video showed several people diving into a convenience store as the auto sped along the pedestrian walkway, Reuters reported. Of those, five were in critical condition, including an infant.

Officers arrested the driver, Dimitrious Gargasoulas, 26, who is now in custody. Police did not confirm his identity.

Australian police have not identified the victims, but confirmed one of the deceased was a young child.

He remains under police guard in hospital.

"We believe this is connected to an earlier stabbing", he said, adding that police were not investigating the crash as a terrorist incident.

People shared chaotic moments from the scene near Bourke Street, Melbourne.

A fourth person died from their injuries in hospital during Friday night.

Police said it was not related to counter-terrorism.

Victoria Police stopped the vehicle near the corner of Bourke St and Williams St and nearby office workers reported seeing it flip.

The video shows pedestrians running for their lives as the auto sped through the streets. "Travelling at speed right through the mall". The area around the incident was shut down.

"We witnessed about half a dozen people that ricocheted off the auto one way or another", one witness tells Reuters. Then I saw the van accelerate down the mall.

"It was just the most freakish sort of thing you could see", she said.

On Friday afternoon, a man allegedly ploughed a auto into numerous pedestrians in the CBD of the Victorian capital, killing four, including a child.

Another 15 people were injured.

"I'm just absolutely devastated for anyone who's lost someone, because it was just ... it was horrific".

Video footage from a witness showed the maroon-colored vehicle as the driver drove erratically outside the Flinders Street railway section, Reuters reported. Then we saw they had a blanket over him.

What appears to be a father and son seem to fall into the path of the auto and three women are seen to frantically run into a shop to avoid the oncoming vehicle. She could not yet say how many.

"There was no hesitation when he got to the crowd, he just mowed them down", witness Sharn Baylis told Fairfax Media.

Police also said the Australian Open is "operating as usual" and would not be affected.

Unbelievable how many of these attacks are carried out by people who have a history that involves things like domestic violence and abuse. "He's come to our attention many times in the past".

'That is mainly linked to drug issues and mental health problems.