Terror alert as driver crashes car laden with gas bottles into police station

A driver sparked a major security operation after he set himself on fire and rammed a car laden with gas bottles into a police station in Sydney. The man, who was in his 60s, was said to have first tried to drive the blazing car into the front of the building in the west of the city. When that failed, he drove around the side of the Merrylands police station, where he rammed a security gate leading to an underground car park. However, the cylinders failed to explode and the badly burned man was arrested. Roads around the site were shut down as bomb disposal crews checked his vehicle.

They had riot police and ambulance outside the street. You could smell something was burning, you could smell it burning.

Witness Leonardo De La Vega

New South Wales police say no officers were injured although they describe it as a “very deliberate attack”. However, they say the man’s motives for the attack are unclear - they are unaware of any terrorist connections but say he was known to have had mental health problems. “The perimeter remains in place as a precaution while officers from the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit attend and examine the vehicle,” police said in a statement. “The circumstances regarding the incident are in the early stages of being confirmed and no further details are available at this time.”