While the motive is unknown and appears random, the Commissioner stated an incendiary device was thrown in to the bus which then engulfed the driver.
As a precautionary measure, the Queensland State Security and Counter Terrorism (SSCT) Group has now been called in to assist in the investigation.
This last piece of information could have significant implications. Was this just a random, meaningless and senseless act or something more sincister that occurred today on the public transport system of a large city?
We won’t speculate, but all avenues need to be fully explored.
Earlier today: Queensland emergency services responded to a second tragedy attracting extensive media attention this morning.
Earlier this week four people tragical died at a theme park Dreamworld on the Goldcoast. Police are still investigating the deaths which, occurred on a well know water ride. Dreamworld remains closed and a large makeshift memorial has grown as the public responded to the incident.
At approximately 8:55am today, a Queensland public transport bus pulled into a Beaudesert Road bus stop in suburban Moorooka. A Queensland Police spokesman said:
- Three people were waiting at the bus stop
- Six passengers were on the bus
- A 48 year old man approached the front of the bus and through flamible liquid over the bus driver
- The bus driver, a 29 year old male, died in the resulting fire
- Passengers on the bus were endangered by the ‘substantial’ fire but managed to escape via the rear exit
The incident is subject to investigation and a 48 year old man with minor burns was taken into custody. Police said the ‘senseless & needless’ act appears to be random, with no attempt at robbery. Passengers were lucky to escape the burning bus and there appears to have been ‘heroic’ efforts by people to open the rear bus door allowing escape.
The Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) said, via Twitter:
- 11 patients reported to have minor injuries
- Multiple QAS crews attended the scene
- 6 patients were transported to hospitals following the incident
Our thoughts are with the family of the driver and passengers, and Queensland Fire, Police and Paramedics who attended this and the earlier Dreamworld incident.
First Responders, bystanders and victims can suffer significant post traumatic stress and should take up the opportunity of counselling. Seeking help early can help prevent the onset of more serious mental health issues, including PTSD, anxiety, depression and even suicide.
Please reach out to your local support services, which in Australia are: