The area surrounding Victoria’s Parliament in central Melbourne was in lockdown Thursday afternoon after a man allegedly attempted to set himself and his vehicle on fire.
Trams and traffic were halted after a white Subaru drove to the steps directly in front of the Parliament building on Spring Street at about 3pm.
Witnesses said the vehicle’s driver appeared to be attempting to light a fire inside the car.
Critical incident teams surrounded the vehicle and witnesses said that after a five-minute standoff, police dragged the man from the car through the front driver’s side window.
The man was arrested before being transported to hospital by ambulance.
Police examined the car and Parliament remained in lockdown for almost an hour as the attempted to confirm whether the car contained explosive materials.
The Parliament building was not evacuated during the security threat, but a heavy police presence remained at the scene.
The front of Parliament House has been cordoned off after an incident involving a white car. More than a dozen police here as well as ambulance and CFA @abcmelbourne #springst pic.twitter.com/6NzbFiuuu3
— Bridget Rollason (@bridgerollo) September 12, 2019
A heavy police presence remained at the scene and one lane of southbound traffic remained closed.
Witness Nick Hurley told ABC the police “stormed the car” before the arrest.
“It was quite a violent arrest. They broke the window, ripped the car door open and threw him on the ground,” Mr Hurley said.
“There was probably five or six police on top of him, restraining him, and then when he was being taken to the [police car], he was sort of dragging his feet … trying to resist arrest.”
Police said there was no ongoing threat to the public.