South East Wales

Cardiff hit-and-runs: Pedestrians 'targeted by van'

Van stopped by police
Image caption A white van was stopped by police in the Leckwith area of Cardiff

Twelve people have been injured in a series of hit-and-runs in Cardiff which have led to the arrest of a van driver.

Both adults and children were hurt, and the 31-year-old man is in custody after a number of collisions in the Ely and Leckwith areas.

Eyewitnesses have said pedestrians were deliberately targeted by someone driving a van in five or six locations.

The A&E department at the University Hospital of Wales is shut to anyone not involved in the incident.

The locations include Grand Avenue in Ely, Cowbridge Road West, and Leckwith Retail Park.

The conditions of those injured is not yet known. Police are due to give more details at a press conference on Friday evening.

Ely sub-postmaster Shady Taha, 29, had just served two girls and a young woman moments before one of the hit-and-runs in Grand Avenue, immediately outside a row of shops.

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Media captionLocal residents say pedestrians were deliberately targeted

He said the two girls aged about 10 and a woman in her mid-20s had been browsing the birthday cards in the store before buying a jar of coffee and leaving.

He said: "All of a sudden I heard a bang. I looked out and across the road one girl was on the floor and the other girl was screaming.

"I heard a van speed off but I did not see it."

Mr Taha and his assistant phoned the emergency services and said it took a while for the ambulance to arrive. He added: "Now we know why."12 hurt in Cardiff hit-and-runs

Lynda Paterson, who lives on Cowbridge Road West, said the scene outside her house was chaotic.

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Media captionWitness Natalie Powell tells Kayley Thomas on BBC Radio Wales what she saw of the Cardiff hit-and-run incidents.

"I was going to pick my children up from school and I could see there were police and someone was lying on the floor, on the pavement," she said.

"I could see police running back and forth along the road and I now know there was a child... who had been hit.

Forensic teams

"The police were running down because the ambulance hadn't come."

Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan told BBC Wales that it sounded like a "tragic incident and my heart goes out to the victims".

Image caption There have been a series of hit-and-runs at incidents in west Cardiff

Police are at several locations in the west of the city, including Crossways Road, Cowbridge Road West, Grand Avenue and Sloper Road.

Ely Fire Station is sealed off with forensic teams working near there.

Leckwith Retail Park - which is next to the Cardiff City Stadium, home of Cardiff City FC - was closed, and ambulances were at the scene. The retail park is a large and well-used shopping area, where stores include Marks & Spencer, Next, Asda and Costa Coffee.

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Media captionStuart Bateman told BBC Radio Wales' Kayley Thomas what he saw

The A4160 Penarth Road in Llandough is also closed which is causing delays in the area.

There are reports of traffic chaos in several locations and motorists are advised to avoid the area.

Police said the first call came through at 15:30 BST reporting an incident or collision in Crossways Road in Ely.

Officers are still trying to piece together the exact sequence of events.

Hailie Jacobs, from Ely, witnessed the aftermath in her area when taking her son home from school.

Image caption Part of Grand Avenue opposite Red House Crescent has been closed

"I noticed all the police and ambulance first. They'd taped off the road in various parts," she said.12 hurt in Cardiff hit-and-runs

"Some of it was absolutely manic and there was a paramedic working on someone on the ground.

"There were just loads of ambulances and police cars and even two helicopters above.

"It was all quite scary, we live near there and it's all places where I walk my children."

A van has been seized by police, who are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incidents.

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