A young Irish man in Melbourne has spoken of the ‘pandemonium’ around him as a tram he was travelling on stopped less than five hundred metres away from the scene of a deadly terror attack.
Sam Fearon, 21, from Bayside, Dublin is currently living in Melbourne with friends and said that the city has come together following the violent incident which left one man dead and several others injured.
The Dubliner revealed that he was on board a tram less than half a kilometre away from where the attack took place at Bourke Street. He said: “I was on the 16 tram from St Kilda Road to CBD [Central Business District]. We were coming down Swanston Street which is very near where the incident took place, and the tram stopped really suddenly. We could hear an unusual siren in the distance, I hadn’t a clue what the siren was for, it was like nothing I’ve ever heard before.”
This alarm was a ‘terrorism siren’, the first time the siren has ever been put to use in Melbourne.
The passengers began to speculate, particularly those on social media. “I didn’t have a clue what was going on, but people on the tram started sharing videos on their phones and gossiping and other passengers started saying that there had been some sort of attack.
“It was pretty scary, and it was pandemonium on board the tram, everyone just wanted to get off really quickly, as at this stage people had an idea it was a terrorist attack of some sort,” said Mr Fearon.
There was a sense of calm when the passengers were let off the train, said Mr Fearon. “We were eventually let off the carriage and people started growing a little more confident that the incident was under control and started getting closer to the scene to see what was going on.
“The photo I took was of a man who was considered to be a threat by the police at the time because he had a bag on him which the police confiscated. The police were quite efficient in their role I must say,” he added.
Mr Fearon explains the terror attack sent shock waves through the city, but the annual Melbourne Cup, which takes place over two weeks, has improved the local atmosphere. “This incident is a big deal, people were very worried, but we’re all fine.
“Now that the whole thing is under control, everyone in the city is banding together,” he said.