12 injured as car ploughs into hijab shop, driver arrested
A male driver has been arrested after crashing his car into another vehicle and then ploughing into a shop in Sydney's southwest while customers were inside, leaving at least one person with a broken leg.
Multiple NSW Ambulance crews were called to "reports of a car through a shop front" at Greenacre just before 3.10pm on Thursday and assessed a total of 12 patients, a spokesman told news.com.au.
The shop is Hijab House on Waterloo Rd.
"The community is shaken and HH management is working to make sense of this tragedy," the business said in a Facebook post on Thursday night.
"At this stage motives are unknown. The important thing is everyone is still alive."
NSW Police said 10 people "in or close to the vicinity" of the shop were taken to hospital.
Intensive care paramedic Caitlyn Murphy told reporters on Thursday night that eight women and four men were assessed at the "chaotic" scene and all of those hospitalised were in a stable condition.
Most patients had minor injuries however "some had serious leg fractures", she said.
"There was a large crowd of bystanders who were quite distressed by what has occurred today."
Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell said the 51-year-old male driver, who was conscious at the time of the crash, is known for traffic matters but did not elaborate.
He said "for reasons yet to be known" the SUV collided with the back of another car which then hit the brakes.
"We don't know whether there was intent at all at this stage … but we will be exploring all avenues," he said.
"Quite clearly from the footage, he's pushing the vehicle in front of him quite hard in order to smoke the tyres like that."
The driver has been taken to hospital for blood and urine testing but is not believed to have been injured.
Mr Thurtell said the man was spoken to briefly but will be interviewed by detectives and crash investigators.
He said one person had serious leg injuries and "possibly a second with serious injuries".
"A Subaru SUV crashed into a vehicle stopped at the traffic lights before continuing into a nearby shop," NSW Police said in a statement earlier on Thursday, noting none of the injuries appeared to be "life-threatening".
Two patients, including the driver, were taken to Liverpool Hospital and eight others are being treated across Canterbury and Bankstown-Lidcombe hospitals.
Vision circulating on social media shows car horns blaring and at least one vehicle with smoke billowing from it before the SUV drives past a white car and appears to accelerate across the intersection and into the shop.
In photographs of the aftermath, glass panes are smashed and the dark red SUV is inside the shop with clothing racks pulled out onto the street and people on the floor or stepping over rubble to get out.
Witness Rawa Assaad said she had been in the post office two doors down when she heard a "big bang".
"Came out to witness this red car went straight through Hijab House!" she wrote in a local Facebook group.
Ms Assaad later said "a few women" had been hurt.
A worker at First National Real Estate across the road told The Daily Telegraph the injured people were "mostly girls who were in the shop, some were trying on clothes".
A local businessman told news.com.au he wasn't able to get close to the scene but he could see a large crowd had gathered outside.
"Basically, there was a car that rammed into the shop front of the corner store," the businessman said.
"They said there were cars with smoke coming out."
Boronia Rd is closed between Waterloo Rd and Noble Ave due to the crash and motorists are advised to avoid the area.