A Melbourne tram has exploded on a track into the city, causing peak hour traffic chaos and shutting down eight separate routes.
Witnesses reported seeing flames burning underneath the tram and hearing a loud explosion after a power line collapsed.
One woman said horrified commuters including mothers with prams were trying to flee from the burning tram when another explosion rang out.
Kate McIntyre said she was sitting in her car in stopped traffic when she heard multiple explosions within the space of a few seconds.
‘I looked over and could see flames under the tram and then it exploded again and there was fire up the side,’ she told the Herald Sun.
‘All I could see was flames and the people in there and I thought ‘ my god, it’s going to go up’.
‘It was a full tram, there were mothers with prams and babies trying to get out
A Metropolitan Fire Brigade confirmed overhead wires sparked a fire on top of the St Kilda Road tram at the corner of Toorak Road at about 9.30am on Tuesday.
‘About 30 people on board were evacuated, and we believe there are no injuries,’ he told AAP.
A spokesman for Yarra Trams advised commuters to find alternative means of transport, with delays of four hours expected for the eight affected routes.
‘We are investigating the cause of the incident,’ he said.
The tram accident took place over new tram tracks, The Age reported.
The tracks were laid as part of the Melbourne Metro Rail Project – a twin rail tunnel connecting the city’s north-west and south-east with five underground stations.
Route 58, the tram route affected by the fire, was built to replace services passing through Domain Road, which will be closed for the next five years.