Van ‘rams into pedestrians’ on London Bridge

Fast Facts

  • Van hits pedestrians on London Bridge
  • Reports of stabbing attacks at Borough Market. Shots fired.
  • Third incident reported in Vauxhall
  • At least one fatality, multiple injuries 

Armed British police rushed to London Bridge late on Saturday after reports of a vehicle hitting pedestrians and possible stabbings.

Multiple witnesses reported a vehicle veering off the road and hitting several pedestrians; others also said they saw a man with a knife.

British Prime Minister Theresa May called the events in London a “potential act of terrorism”.

London’s Metropolitan Police said armed officers were at three scenes — one on the bridge, another at the nearby Borough Market, a busy area of restaurants and bars, and a third in Vauxhall.

Police said in a statement that officers “responded to reports of a vehicle in collision with pedestrians on London Bridge”, and then “to reports of stabbings in Borough Market,” at the south end of the bridge.

“Armed officers responded and shots have been fired,” the statement said.

“Officers are now responding to an incident in the Vauxhall area,” which is also on the south side of the River Thames and home to the MI6 foreign intelligence agency.

The BBC cited police as saying there had been more than one fatality.

Police told pedestrians leaving the scene near the bridge to raise their hands over their heads as they exited the area [Reuters]

Witnesses reported a vehicle hitting pedestrians and seeing injured people on the ground on the bridge.

“There is a huge police presence, emergency services are all over the place,” said Al Jazeera’s Oliver Varney from the scene.

“There are a lot of people that appear to be injured. I counted five or six people with serious injuries.”

Metropolitan police Tweeted a photo telling Londoners to “run, hide, tell”.

Al Jazeera’s Sarah Kern said she heard “a series of six or seven loud bangs, either gun fire or some sort of explosive,” while standing at a police cordon on Suffolk Street south of London Bridge.

Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis was near the bridge at the time of the incident. 

“Paramedics had [the injured] on their sides, it was a bloody scene,” she said. 

“Some were injured about 50 meters behind the van, some were injured about ten meters from where the van stopped.”

London Ambulance Service said it had “multiple resources” at the scene and urged people to “avoid the area”.

London’s transport authority said London Bridge rail station had been closed at the request of the police.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said she was “in contact with officials and is being regularly updated on the incident at London Bridge”.

The incident happened on a warm Saturday night in a busy area full of bars and restaurants.

It comes less than three months after an attacker ran down people with a vehicle on Westminster Bridge, killing four, then stabbed a policeman to death outside Parliament.

View the original article:

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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