Melbourne attack: Man arrested after fire and stabbings

The dramatic scene was captured by Twitter user @chrismacheras

The dramatic scene was captured by Twitter user @chrismacheras

One person was confirmed dead after multiple stabbing incident during rush hour in the Australian city of Melbourne, police said on Friday, as the city was placed on lockdown.

As police officers reached the scene they were confronted by a knife-wielding man who tried to attack them.

One of them has succumbed to injuries, police said.

Police are asking people to avoid the area and said more information would be given when it was available.

Addressing the media, Superintendent David Clayton said that the man who attacked the people was shot in the chest and he is now critically injured.

No other suspects are being sought.

Police said there was no known link to terrorism.

Police said they had initially responded to a auto on fire.

Footage circulating on social media shows a vehicle, which appears to have crashed into shop fronts, on fire.

"There was a massive flame and bang, just smoke and lots of people", witness Shelley Reid told Nine News.

The incident comes two days after the trial for Melbourne man James Gargasoulas, who has pleaded not guilty to 33 charges including six counts of murder for a deadly incident on 20 January, 2017, when he allegedly drove a vehicle through pedestrians along Bourke Street mall and killed six people.

The Friday incident took place blocks away from Flinders Street Railway Station, where a driver plowed into pedestrians past year, injuring 18.

The two survivors were taken to hospital - one in a suspected critical condition.

Police warned people to avoid the area and dispatched the bomb squad to secure the area and examine the burning vehicle.

'The exact circumstances are yet to be determined at this stage.

Another person at the scene said: "I saw people running, screaming".

Officers said they "are not looking for anyone further at this early stage".

Her immediate thought was, "Oh no, not another Bourke Street incident", she said.

"It's so chaotic", witness Sarah told Tom Elliott. Police response was swift and overwhelming.

The area is cordoned off and people are asked to avoid the area.

The fire was brought under control within about five minutes, a Metropolitan Fire Brigade spokeswoman said.

Neil McKeller, who works at Hylands Bookshop on Bourke Street, told Guardian Australia he heard a loud explosion and then gunshots.

James Gargasoulas is accused of deliberately driving his auto into pedestrians on Bourke Street, hitting 33 people.

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