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A 19-year-old woman is in hospital with a fractured skull after she was knocked down by a tram in the city, leaving peak-hour traffic in disarray.
Police said the woman was lucky to be alive after being hit outside the Arts Centre on St Kilda Road about 9.15am.
"She was very, very lucky not to have been killed," a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.
Intensive care paramedic Gavin Smith said the woman had suffered fractures to her skull and pelvis, and a suspected spinal injury in the accident, which had caused lengthy delays for commuters.
He said paramedics arrived to find the woman lying on the tracks and the tram driver so distraught that he suffered an asthma attack at the scene.
The police spokeswoman said it was believed the woman was crossing from one platform of the super-tram stop to the other when she was hit by the city-bound route-one tram.
Yarra Trams spokesman Colin Tyrus said trams had been delayed in both directions for about 45 minutes following the accident, with many city centre trams diverted away from St Kilda Road.
He said trams were now operating as normal.
Mr Tyrus said he did not know how many passengers had been on the tram and Yarra Trams would await the outcome of the police investigation.
The woman was taken to The Alfred in a serious condition and the tram driver to St Vincent’s Hospital in a stable condition.
"Given the potential spinal injury, we fitted her with a neck brace and strapped her to a spine board to reduce movement," Mr Smith said.
"A drip was put in her arm and she was given pain relief and fluids to help stabilise her condition."
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