At least 20 injured in gas explosion after truck crashes into cafe in Queensland

Four people are in a critical condition with burns following the smash at the cafe in Ravenshoe, south of Cairns in the north of the Australian state

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At least 20 people have been injured, three of them critically, after a pick-up truck smashed into a cafe in northern Australia, sparking a gas explosion and a fire.

Officials were trying to determine what caused the driver to veer off the road and into the Serves You Right Cafe in Ravenshoe, south of Cairns in Queensland state.

The crash caused a gas bottle at the cafe to explode, setting off a fire, Queensland police spokesman Todd Saunders said.

Twenty-one people were injured, with three people flown to hospital with serious burns, according to latest reports. The worst casualties were airlifted to hospital in Cairns around 100 miles to the north, emergency services said.

They were said to include a 60-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman, local media reported.

The others were being treated at local hospitals. The driver was among the casualties.

Queensland Ambulance Service Assistant Commissioner Rod Sheather said patients were being treated for a "varying degree of burns".

Kate Lewis, who works in a supermarket across from the cafe, described the scene as horrific.

"We just heard a massive sonic boom and went running out and saw the cafe on fire and lots of burned people," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.