UK News

Four dead in Westminster attack which is 'being treated as terrorist incident'

Digital staff
22 March, 2017 14:48

Four people have died after a knifeman brought terror to the heart of Westminster, mowing down pedestrians then stabbing a policeman before being shot by armed officers.

The attacker and the police officer he targeted are among the dead, along with a woman who was killed as the attacker drove a car across Westminster Bridge.

Eyewitnesses described scenes of terror as the attacker was shot several times as he approached a second officer within yards of the Houses of Parliament.

Colleen Anderson, a junior doctor at St Thomas' hospital, said a woman was killed as the attacker drove a grey Hyundai i40 across Westminster Bridge before crashing it into railings then running through the gates of the Palace of Westminster.

She also said she treated a police officer in his thirties with a head injury who had been take to King's College hospital.

She said: "I confirmed one fatality. A woman. She was under the wheel of a bus."

What we know so far:

  • One pedestrian hit by the attacker's car before he reached Parliament was confirmed dead by a doctor at St Thomas' Hospital
  • Police officer who was attacked has died
  • The attacker has died
  • A fourth person has died. They are thought to have been killed on the bridge
  • People on Westminster bridge suffered 'catastrophic injuries'
  • 20 people have been injured
  • At least one of the people being treated in the palace courtyard was wheeled away on a stretcher with their face covered
  • Another woman who apparently jumped into the Thames as the attacker drove across the bridge was rescued and given urgent medical treatment on a nearby pier
  • London Ambulance Service said paramedics had treated at least 10 patients on Westminster Bridge
  •  A party of French schoolchildren were among those targeted on the bridge
  • Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May, who was ushered away from Parliament after the attack, was chairing a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee
  • Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police said there were "a number of casualties" in the attack "including police officers". He urged Londoners to be vigilant, said more officers would be on patrol and that anti-terrorism measures were being reviewed

Scotland Yard said it is treating the attack in Westminster "as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise". 

 

Three French teenagers on a school visit to London were among those injured on Westminster Bridge.

Le Telegramme reported the students, aged between 15 and 16, were wounded in the attack with one ending up on the roof of the car.

The pupils from a school in Concarneau, Brittany, had arrived in London on Sunday evening.

Eyewitness Rick Longley told the Press Association he saw a man stab a policeman.

Fighting back tears he said: "We were just walking up to the station and there was a loud bang and a guy, someone, crashed a car and took some pedestrians out.

"They were just laying there and then the whole crowd just surged around the corner by the gates just opposite Big Ben.

 Portcullis House (left) is where the shooting is reported to have taken place

"A guy came past my right shoulder with a big knife and just started plunging it into the policeman.

"I have never seen anything like that. I just can't believe what I just saw."

Witness Richard Tice said he "counted between eight and 10 prostrate figures on the ground" after he came out of Westminster underground station and moved on to Westminster Bridge.

He told Sky News: "My understanding from someone who was standing next to me was that a car had driven along the whole pavement knocking people over and that is why there were many injuries. The people lying on the ground were starting to be attended to by a paramedic."

Staff inside Parliament said the building was being evacuated floor by floor.

Police have been telling MPs and members of the public to clear the area immediatley.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Police are asking people to avoid the following areas: Parliament Square; Whitehall; Westminster Bridge; Lambeth Bridge; Victoria Street up to the junction with Broadway and the Victoria Embankment up to Embankment tube.

"This is to allow the emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident. Officers - including firearms officers - remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise."

Medical staff are treating two people, the BBC is reporting. There was a wave of people running down the street.

Alan Parry, of Sky Sports News, was at Westminster for a meeting when he heard "an almighty crash" when he was just outside the underground station .

He could see what he thought was a 4x4 vehicle on the other side of the road which had crashed into some railings.

He told Sky News: "There was smoke coming this vehicle. I walked on a few paces further and saw what I assumed to be either a pedestrian or a cyclist who had clearly been hit and wasn't moving, although he did then gently move.

"The guy who I assumed was the driver of this 4x4 got out of the car and suddenly sprinted away from the scene - that was followed by four of what sounded much like gunshots.

"All of a sudden all hell was let loose. Police descended everywhere and the whole area was locked down."

Sky News said that there was a sighting of what was thought ot be the Prime Minister's car being driven off. Theresa May is said to be safe. 

A line of red buses and several ambulances could be seen on Westminster Bridge.

Alex Wafer, 47, who was cycling nearby and saw the aftermath, said: "At the end of the embankment it appears as though there is an ambulance.

"It looks as if they are treating somebody.

"And just below, it looks like there may be another paramedic treating someone else."

Here is what is being reported:

22 March, 2017 14:48 UK News

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