Melbourne tragedy impacts rest of city

By Imran Ali

Good evening from chaotic Melbourne. This place never sleeps. The amount of people out and about especially during working hours is unbelievable, writes reporter Imran Ali.

The narrow, single-vehicle alleyways off the main streets are lined with tiny coffee and sandwich outlets. They remind me of India.

Anyway, the horror that unfolded at lunch hour meant we couldn't visit one or two places on the city trains today. The tragedy impacted on public transport operations at one of the busiest days and time of the day. Commuters were struck in queues after work while passengers in free trains disembarked and chose to walk to the train station.

Video


We stayed two blocks away from where it all happened. I walked past the scene around 12.30pm on my way to a prayer hall just up the road. On my return about 2pm, all traffic stopped to give way to emergency service vehicles which flew from all directions.

My initial thought was of another terrorist attack just seeing the number of police cars and the fact a terrorist attack happened near the Flinders' train station recently.

Almost the entire Bourke St was cordoned off and I counted 25 cop cars excluding ambos and traffic diversion personnel, inside the cordon.

My journalism instincts kicked in and I couldn't help but go as close to the cordon as I could. There a cop was telling a group what transpired and the first thing I said to myself:"luckily I crossed that road before it all happened."

Video


But being here with 3 kids, we could have easily been on the receiving end of something utterly devastating.

Especially since we'd been frequenting the Flinders teaib station and surrounding areas since our arrival on this.

Melbourne is quite popular with tourists and I hope no visitors' holiday is ruined by the today's alleged mentally unstable driver.

Despite the chaos, people are going about their normal business. One gets the feeling they just don't care.

We saw a man who looked to be in his 60s with cuts and bruises on his right arm being spoken to by police. I presumed he was one of the victims. It seemed paramedics hadn't reached him yet. That didn't seem unusual given the sheer scale of this incident.

Video


Police are all over Flinders St, Bourke St and adjacent streets and it's going to take some time for them to complete their scene investigation.

I watched the telly news tonight and received a call from my concerned bro in Sydney and my dad in Auckland.

I assured them we were safe.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 29 Mar 2017 04:55:14 Processing Time: 572ms