By Renju Jose
SYDNEY (Reuters) – At least three people have been seriously injured in a shooting in New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland, media reported on Thursday, with police saying they were responding to “a serious incident” and urging people to avoid the area.
Several streets in Auckland have been cordoned off and all ferry services into the city have been cancelled while buses running through some areas will be detoured, authorities said.
The incident has been contained to a building under construction, police said. A large police presence remained in the area and multiple emergency services have responded, police said.
“This is a scary situation for Aucklanders on their Thursday morning commute to work. Please stay at home, avoid travel into the city centre,” Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown said in a tweet.
The shooting in one of the busy streets in the city centre comes just hours ahead of the opening match of the ninth Women’s Soccer World Cup at Eden Park in Auckland later on Thursday.
Italy team’s training has been delayed as players cannot get out of their hotel, the team said.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has cancelled a trip to the city of Hamilton, about 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of Auckland, and is on his way back to the national capital Wellington, media reports said.