Video: 12 Injured After Car Smashes Into Hijab House in Sydney

Published May 21st, 2020 - 07:31 GMT
In footage of the incident, the driver of the SUV ploughed into another, smaller car, before driving directly into the shopfront. (Twitter)
In footage of the incident, the driver of the SUV ploughed into another, smaller car, before driving directly into the shopfront. (Twitter)
The car had previously crashed into another vehicle stopped at the intersection and forced it out of the way

Police are investigating whether a van was deliberately driven into an Islamic clothing shop in Sydney's southwest.

Twelve people were injured when a Mitsubishi SUV ploughed into Hijab House on Waterloo Road and Juno Parade in Greenacre just after 3pm on Thursday. 

Police said the car previously crashed into another vehicle stopped at the traffic lights moments before driving into the busy store. 

Most of the victims are believed to be women aged between 18 and 30 and were in the store shopping at the time of the crash. So far, one victim in a serious condition.

A 51-year-old man with a history of driving offences was arrested at the scene and taken to hospital, where he will undergo blood and urine tests to check whether he was under the influence of any substances at the time of the crash, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said on Thursday night.

No charges have been laid. 

Police superintendent Murray Reynolds told 2GB he believed the crash may have been deliberate.

'It does appear that it's [been] done deliberately but potentially it could be a medical episode,' he said.

'The scene itself it obviously quite chaotic… I'm grateful no one was killed.'

Video taken by a bystander showed thick smoke billow from the front of the Subaru while stopped at a red light.

The Mitsubishi then appeared to accelerate across the crowded intersection before ploughing into the shop's glass windows.

The male driver was initially trapped in the car and had to be freed by emergency crews, while 11 pedestrians were injured. 

'The male driver and 11 pedestrians have been injured. They are currently being treated at the scene; however, their injuries are not believed to be life-threatening,' police said in a statement.  

Dozens of paramedics, firefighters, police, nine ambulances and a specialist medical team remain on the scene.

Two people have been taken to Liverpool Hospital and up to seven others are being treated for leg injuries at the scene. 

NSW Police said there is no indication the crash was terror related. 

Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell on Tuesday said there doesn't appear to be any link between the driver of the SUV or the driver of the other car. 

John Makhlouf, who owns a nearby petrol station, said he saw a car career through the intersection and into the shop.

'I saw a lot of smoke and heard a beeping horn. One car got pushed out of the way and the other car went straight into the shop and crashed and you could hear the horn constantly beeping,' he told the ABC. 

'It's very lucky there was no one standing on the corner or crossing at the lights because they would have been hit.'

A worker at the Al Aseel restaurant next door said 'police and ambulances were everywhere'.

Another woman suggested the store would have been busier than usual as women stocked up on outfits to celebrate the end of Ramadan. 

'There are police and ambulances everywhere. We couldn't understand anything that was going on when it happened, it drove right through the shop,' he told The Guardian.

Police have blocked off Boronia Road between Waterloo Rd and Noble Ave, while Waterloo Road is closed northbound.

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area.

NSW Police are asking for witnesses or anyone with CCTV to contact them.  

More to come.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

You may also like