Australian police to help investigate Maldives blast

Australian police would help authorities in the Maldives investigate an explosion that wounded former leader Mohamed Nasheed, officials said.

Australian police to help investigate Maldives blast

Australian police will help authorities in the Maldives investigate an explosion that wounded former leader Mohamed Nasheed, officials said.

The incident was described as an attack on the country’s democracy and economy.

Mr Nasheed, 53, was injured in the blast on Thursday night outside his home and was being treated in a hospital in the capital, Male, police said. Home Minister Imran Abdulla told a local television that Mr Nasheed’s injuries were not life-threatening.

The explosion occurred as Australian cricketers and officials were arriving in the Maldives after leaving coronavirus-stricken India.


Australian authorities announced yesterday that the cricket cohort trapped in India totalled 38 people. It includes players, former players and commentators who are currently unable to return to Australia.

They will remain in the Maldives until they are allowed back in Australia.

Mr Nasheed is the current Parliament speaker and was the Maldives’ first democratically-elected president, serving from 2008 to 2012.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih said in a televised speech on Friday that Australian Federal Police investigators will arrive in the Indian Ocean archipelago nation on Saturday.

Neither Mr Solih nor police have given further details on the attack and no one has claimed responsibility.


Photos circulated on social media showed a ripped-up motorcycle at the scene.

Neighboring India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in a tweet described the blast as an attack on Mr Nasheed.

“Wish him a speedy recovery. Know that he will never be intimidated,” Mr Jaishankar said.

The presidency of Mr Nasheed ended a 30-year autocratic rule, but his own term ended when he resigned amid protests. He was defeated in the following presidential election and became ineligible to enter the 2018 election due to a prison sentence. His party colleague Mr Solih won the 2018 presidential election.

Mr Nasheed remained an influential political figure and was elected Parliament speaker in 2019.

Mr Nasheed has championed global efforts to fight climate change, particularly warning that rising seas caused by global warming threaten the low-lying islands of the Indian Ocean archipelago nation.


He has also been an outspoken critic of religious extremism in this predominantly Sunni Muslim nation, where preaching and practicing other faiths are banned by law.

Maldives is known for its luxury resort islands but has seen rare violent attacks. In 2007, a blast in a park in the capital wounded 12 foreign tourists.

Source : 9 News More   

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'Everything went silent': Truck hits pedestrians causing 'absolute carnage'

Witnesses have described the moment when a truck allegedly ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians on a Melbourne pavement as "absolute carnage".

'Everything went silent': Truck hits pedestrians causing 'absolute carnage'

Witnesses have described the moment when a truck allegedly ploughed into a crowd of pedestrians on a Melbourne pavement as "absolute carnage".

A group of five people, all aged in their 20s and 30s, were injured when a B-double truck allegedly rammed into them on the corner of City Road and Power Street in Southbank about 7pm yesterday.

The 64-year-old driver was later arrested after allegedly leaving the scene of the accident and is expected to be charged later today.

More than a dozen of emergency vehicles, including police, ambulances and firefighters quickly swarmed the area, with a number of bystanders also stopping to assist as the five pedestrians were left bleeding on the ground.


Witness Daniel Falzon told 9News he was on his way home from work when he saw a "giant truck" turning a corner before it allegedly mowed down a traffic light and five pedestrians.

He claimed the loud bang of the smash was like a "bomb" going off.

"It was one of the loudest bangs I've ever heard," he said.

The intersection then went silent, as if "someone pressed pause on the whole scene" until screams of terror tore through the area.

"Everything went silent for about five to 10 seconds," he said.

"We didn't know what to do, our brains were just trying to understand what happened and then we started hearing the screaming."

Mr Falzon then sprinted over to help as many people as he could, grabbing the first person he could see that was in the most danger. While a doctor on scene lifted up a traffic light that had come crashing down.

"Unfortunately for this young female, it was crushing her pelvis - as the doctor lifted it up I've picked her up and just put her on my lap, on the side just to wait for help," he said.

Southbank truck crash

Police said a woman and four men were waiting on the footpath when the truck driver mounted the curb, with the rear trailer striking a traffic light pole and allegedly slamming into the pedestrians.

"It appears that he's cut the corner and in doing so he has taken out a traffic control signal pole as well as a group of pedestrians," Detective Sergeant Darren Williams said.

A statement from the truck driver's employer, K&S Group, said the 64-year-old was unaware of the crash.

"We're advised the driver maintains he was unaware of the incident," K&S Group managing director and CEO Paul Sarant said.

"It's obviously a very serious matter which is being fully investigated by the police and the company.

"Our thoughts are with the people and the families of those involved."

The driver, from Wyndham Vale, has been working for the company for nearly 10 years and was on his way to the depot to conclude his shift when the accident occurred.

The company is undertaking an internal workplace health and safety investigation of the incident.

Local resident Jannine Pattison, who lives just 100 metres from the accident site, told she heard the crash from inside her apartment and watched on in horror from her balcony.

"I heard the crash and the crumple and I thought 'oh another accident on Power St', then I heard the scream," she said.

"I went onto the balcony to see what was going on and it was absolute carnage."

The City Road and Power Street intersection is notorious for accidents, heavily populated with foot traffic and trucks coming on and off the Westgate Freeway.

Ms Pattison said the corner was a "disaster waiting to happen", witnessing a number of accidents and near-misses over the years.

She has launched a petition calling for the City of Melbourne to remove all heavy vehicles along the "dangerous" stretch of road. Nearly 300 people have so far signed the petition.


"That corner in particular is extremely bad," she said.

"It's incredibly dangerous, I have seen cyclists knocked over by trucks.

"One bike was caught underneath the truck and dragged.

"The main thing that is going to help this area is taking off the large vehicles."

Southbank truck crash

Two men in their 20s remain at The Alfred hospital, one in a critical but stable condition and the other in a stable condition.

The three other people, including two men in their 30s, are in a serious condition at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, along with a woman in her 20s who is in a stable condition.

Paramedics said all five suffered lower-body injuries.

Police allege the truck driver failed to stop at the crash scene and continued along Power Street.

However, a driver who witnessed the alleged incident, followed the tanker and passed on information that led to police finding it at Truganina, about 20 kilometres away.

The 64-year-old truck driver has been interviewed by detectives at Werribee Police Station.

Major Collision Investigation Unit detectives have appealed for anyone who saw the incident or has dashcam footage to come forward.

Harry Ledingham, who works at the My Goodness restaurant nearby, said he didn't realise what had happened until he heard the sirens.

He said an "army of fire trucks" were blocking the scene for about an hour and a half and an investigation team remained at the intersection in the evening.

"It's shocking," he said.

"It's a bit of a reality check. That sort of stuff doesn't happen every day."

Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley today offered the young people injured in the smash his "deepest sympathies" while confirming he had been in touch with the council about the notorious intersection.

"I want to offer my deepest sympathies and support to those young people, who were so terribly injured last night and wish them a speedy recovery," he said.

"I've already been in contact with the lord mayor and the Melbourne city council ... as to what can be done to make sure that tragic set of circumstances isn't repeated."

City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp Lord Mayor conceded the council had heard residents' concerns, flagging bollards to be brought in as a short-term solution.

"We have to do something about this," she said.

Anyone with information should call on 1800 333 000.

Source : 9 News More   

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