Reports “A number of people” are injured after a person threatening self-harm set themselves alight in a Commonwealth Bank branch in Melbourne.
A 21-year-old man has set himself alight in a Melbourne bank causing an explosion that left himself and five others in a critical condition.
The 21-year-man has been placed under police guard in hospital.
“He had some sort of accelerant with him in a container,” Inspector Jacqui Poida told reporters at the scene.
“Somehow that accelerant was lit inside the bank. He set himself alight with that fire.”
Paramedics rushed to the Commonwealth Bank on Springvale Road after reports of self-harm, 9 news reports.
A witness wrote on Facebook they saw people coming out of the building, saying their “faces were all black and their [sic] suffocating”.
CFA officers are at the scene and the incident is listed as “not yet under control”.
Springvale Road is closed in both directions between Balmoral Avenue and Windsor Avenue.
Paramedics have treated 27 people for a mixture of burns and smoke inhalation. Six people have serious burns and were taken to the Alfred Hospital.
21 others – including three children – have breathing problems, and will be taken to the Monash and Dandenong Hospitals in a stable condition.
Commonwealth Bank Australia released a statement confirming the incident.
“Our first priority is the safety of our staff and customers and as a result, the branch will remain closed for the rest of the day,” the statement read.
“Our response team is on site, and we are working closely with authorities and emergency services.”
Victoria Police have said, they responded to reports that a man had allegedly set fire to a Springvale Road bank in Springvale about 11.30am today (Friday 18 Nov). The man has been taken to hospital in a serious condition under police guard. Twenty members of the public will be taken to hospital – four in a serious condition. The bank has been evacuated and Springvale Road has been closed in both directions.
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This is a breaking news story. More information will be added as it comes to hand.