A car ploughed into a crowd in Australia’s second-largest city on Thursday in what police said was a “deliberate act” that left more than a dozen people injured, some of them seriously.

Witnesses said people were thrown through the air after being hit by the vehicle, which did not appear to be trying to stop as it “mowed everybody down”.

Victoria state police said they had arrested the driver of the car after it “collided with a number of pedestrians” in downtown Melbourne at a busy intersection just after 4.30pm local time (0530 GMT).

A second man was also arrested.

“We believe based on what we have seen that it is a deliberate act. The motivations are unknown,” Victoria Police’s Commander Russell Barrett told reporters in Melbourne.

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