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Driver of Melbourne car rampage had history of drugs and mental health issues

The driver arrested after a car was driven into pedestrians in Melbourne was a 32-year-old Australian of Afghan descent.

The man has a history of drug use and mental health problems, police have said.

Police arrested the driver of the Suzuki SUV outside Flinders Street station in Melbourne.

Victoria Police chief Shane Patton said a second man, aged 24, was arrested after he was seen filming the incident was found to have a bag containing knives. 

Up to 15 people have been injured after the car crashed into pedestrians outside a major train station in Australia.

They were not able to confirm the cause of the incident or comment on whether it was terror-related.

Leader of the opposition Bill Shorten tweeted: "Shocking scenes in Melbourne this afternoon. Credit to first responders who are doing us proud once again. Thinking of everyone caught up in this atrocity."

The Victoria State ambulance service said it had taken 13 people to hospital, including a pre-school child with a serious head injury, while two people were being treated at the scene.

"The driver of the vehicle and a second man have been arrested and are in police custody," police said in a statement, adding that a crime scene had been established.

Police have said a crash as a "deliberate act".

The England cricket squad and management - who are in Melbourne for the Boxing Day Ashes Test - are all safe, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

A brief statement read: "Following the Flinders Street incident in Melbourne, all players and management have been accounted for and are safe."

The fourth Test is scheduled to get under way on Tuesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, around a mile from the scene of Thursday's incident.

Witnesses described "people flying everywhere" as a white car was driven at crowds just after 4.30pm (5.30am GMT).

Officers said several people are in a critical condition, adding it was "early days" in the investigation and the motivation was unknown.

A witness told ABC: “I was crossing Flinders Street on the way to the train station. I heard an engine rev behind me and I heard a thump.

“I turned around and saw the white SUV streaming through the intersection and just seeing people literally getting thrown into the air as it hit them.

“Then it went through the intersection within a second or two and then went ploughing straight into the tram stop where it came to a dead halt.”


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