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Sunday 24 September 2023 Dublin: 14°C
David Clough/PA Wire/PA Images Police at the scene after the incident in Melbourne
# Australia
Irish woman in stable condition after being injured in Melbourne car attack
Of the 20 people injured, three remain in a critical condition.

Updated 9am 

THE IRISH WOMAN who was injured when a car was driven into pedestrians in Melbourne, Australia yesterday is in a stable condition.

Victoria Police are treating the incident, in which a man drove a car up tram tracks before veering into a large group of people, as a deliberate act.

The driver, a 32-year-old Australian citizen of Afghan descent, was arrested at the scene. Speaking to reporters yesterday, Victoria’s acting Police Commissioner Shane Patton said the man has a history of drug use and is understood to be receiving treatment for a mental illness.

An investigation into the incident – which happened in downtown Melbourne at a busy intersection at around 4.45pm local time (5.45am Irish time) yesterday – is ongoing.

The man said he carried out the attack to avenge “mistreatment of Muslims”, authorities said today, adding that they had found no link to any terrorist group.

Speaking at a press conference, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called the incident “a despicable and cowardly act”.

“To be attacked like this, in the middle of one of our great cities, is a shocking event, a shocking crime. He has said, in a number of what the police are describing as utterings, that he attributed his actions to perceived mistreatment of Muslims.

“But at this stage, because investigations are continuing, apart from that statement, there are no known links to any political issues, or any links to extremist groups, and I am advised at the moment that no terrorism link has been identified.”

Three people critical 

In a statement released today, police said 20 people presented to hospital yesterday and 18 were admitted. Currently, four people have been discharged and 14 people remain in hospital – three of which are in a critical condition.

Nine of the victims are overseas nationals including people from South Korea, China, Italy, India, Venezuela, Ireland and New Zealand:

  • 25-year-old female Irish national living in Caulfield is stable
  • 4-year-old male South Korean national living in Hoppers Crossing is stable
  • 83-year-old male from Northcote in a critical condition
  • 67-year-old male South Korean national in a critical condition
  • 61-year-old male South Korean national in a critical condition
  • 40-year-old male Venezuelan national from Elwood is serious but stable
  • 47-year-old female from Richmond is stable
  • 45-year-old male Indian national is stable
  • 36-year-old female from Mentone is stable
  • 35-year-old female from Mernda is stable
  • 30-year old female from Craigieburn is stable
  • 24-year-old male Chinese national is stable
  • 33-year-old female from Seaford has been discharged
  • 17-year-old male Brunswick East has been discharged
  • 43-year-old male New Zealand national living in Heathmont has been discharged
  • 25-year-old male Italian national has been discharged
  • 58-year-old female from Coburg attended hospital but was not admitted
  • 25-year old female from Reservoir attended hospital but was not admitted

The 32-year-old man alleged to be the driver has been released from hospital and is currently in police custody. He lives in the Melbourne suburb of Heidelberg West.

Crime Department detectives will interview him once he has been medically cleared, police said.

The off-duty police member who arrested the driver remains in hospital. He has undergone surgery and is stable.

A second man, 24, who was filming the incident was also arrested by police. Patton said this man was in possession of a bag with three knives in it.

Today police have confirmed that this man “was not involved or connected with the initial incident, has been interviewed and released”. He is expected to be charged over possessing cannabis and a controlled weapon. These offences are not linked to the initial incident.

Isolated incident 

Victoria Police believe this was an isolated incident and said: “The community can be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep the community safe.

The community can expect to see an increased police presence at a number of events today and at major events in coming weeks.

“We understand this incident has been very traumatising for witnesses, victims and families involved.”

Police have urged witnesses to visit their local police station or contact Crime Stoppers to submit information anonymously. People who have footage or images of the incident have been asked to upload them here.

Contains reporting from © AFP 2017

Read: ‘No evidence to suggest terrorism’ after car is driven into crowd in Melbourne

Read: Irish person injured by car driven into crowd on busy street in Melbourne

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