Firefighters have battled to save dozens of lives after a car slammed into a wall at a shopping centre in Melbourne’s south-east.
Key points: The car was carrying about 50 people when it hit a wall, smashing the roof of the shop The injured were treated by paramedics and flown to a hospital in Melbourne The incident happened in the town of Wodonga in the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne Firefighters were called to the scene at about 8:00am local time (4:00pm AEDT) on Monday after reports of a car accident.
Emergency services and police attended the scene and managed to contain the blaze before it spread to the nearby shopping centre.
A number of vehicles were damaged and the area was cordoned off.
The number of injured, some of whom were taken to hospital, was unknown, the Victorian Fire and Rescue Service said.
“The scene was caved in and the building was in complete disarray and it was extremely difficult to work on the scene,” a statement from the fire service said.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those involved in this tragic accident and our thoughts are also with those who have been involved with the incident and the fire and rescue services.”
The driver of the car has not yet been charged.
Firefighter Michael MacLean, who was in the shop when the crash occurred, said the crash had been a “huge shock” to him.
“[The car] was driving at about 60 kilometres per hour, so I think it was about 20 metres out and there was this massive crash on the other side of the road,” he said.”[It] smashed the front of the building in the middle of the night and then there was a big bang, and there were quite a few people trapped in the car.”
I couldn’t believe it, I just didn’t think it could happen.
“It’s very difficult to see what could happen.”
Mr MacLean said the car was moving too fast to stop and he was unsure if the driver would have been able to stop.
He said firefighters were on site working for about 20 minutes before the fire brigade arrived.
Mr McLean said he did not believe the driver was drunk or under the influence of drugs, but he was devastated by the crash.
Police said they had received reports of an attempted suicide but were unable to confirm any details.
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