London terror attack: Stabbings reported as police respond to ‘terrorist incidents’
PUBLISHED: 00:33 04 June 2017 | UPDATED: 15:36 04 June 2017
The Metropolitan Police have confirmed a “major incident” in London is being treated as terrorist attacks.
Police responded to a number of incidents in the capital overnight, amid reports that a vehicle collided with pedestrians on London Bridge, Scotland Yard said.
Officers dealt with reports of stabbings in Borough Market, where armed officers attended and shots were fired.
They were also at an incident in the Vauxhall area. Police have since confirmed this was a stabbing but was unconnected to the other two events.
However, the Metropolitan Police tweeted to say at 12.25am this morning that: “The incidents at #LondonBridge and #BoroughMarket were declared as terrorist incidents”.
Theresa May has said that the “terrible incident” is being treated as a “potential act of terrorism”.
The Prime Minister added: “This is a fast moving investigation. I want to express my huge gratitude to the police and emergency services who are on the scene.
“Our thoughts are with those who are caught up in these dreadful events.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted: “Brutal and shocking incidents reported in London. My thoughts are with the victims and their families. Thank you to the emergency services.”
Nick Brandon of the BTP’s force control room said he had received reports of an incident possibly involving a knife and a vehicle on London Bridge.
The seriousness of the injuries is not yet known, he said.
He said trains were not stopping at London Bridge and Borough Market.
Tfl bus alerts tweeted: “LONDON BRIDGE UPDATE - Police are dealing with a major incident and all routes are being diverted.”
The Metropolitan Police posted on Twitter: “We are dealing with an incident on #LondonBridge, when we have more information we will update this twitter feed.”
And also confirmed they were dealing with a second incident at Borough Market.
London Bridge is closed both ways due to the incident, Tfl said, warning the public to avoid the area.
Scotland Yard said officers were at the scene and said they would update with further information.
London Ambulance said multiple resources were attending the area.
Holly Jones, a BBC reporter at the bridge when the incident happened, said a van had swerved off the road into a crowd of pedestrians.
“A white van driver came speeding - probably about 50mph - veered of the road into the crowds of people who were walking along the pavement,” she told BBC News.
“He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.
I’d say there are about four severely injured people. They all have paramedics assisting them at the moment.”
Ms Jones said police were on the scene within two minutes, quickly followed by ambulances.
Police boats were searching the river - apparently looking for people who may have been thrown off the bridge.
She said that among the injured was a French woman who told her she did not know where the two people who had been with her were.
“She told me in French, ‘I don’t know where those two other people are’. So the police checking the Thames,” Ms Jones said.
“They were right near the edge of the bridge. It looks potentially they could have been thrown over.”
Police are treating injured people and carrying them away at the end Thrale Street. Members of the public were told by police to “run as fast as they could” westbound.
And video footage at London Bridge has shown dozens of people with their hands on their heads escorted away from the scene by officers.
Nick Archer, who was in the London Bridge area, told Sky News: “We came out (of a bar) on to the road and looked and looked to my left and there as a guy, I thought he was just drinking but he was lying on the floor.
“And then a couple of seconds later, about three police vans flew past.
“He looked in a bad way.”
Tony Murphy, who lives near the area, told Sky News he heard the sound of gunfire.
He said: “I thought at first it was fireworks then I recognised it was significant gunfire and that was the first instance.
“After that (came) the whole shooting match of ambulances and police.
“There was rapid fire because that’s why I thought it was fireworks.”
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is in contact with officials and is being regularly updated on the incident at London Bridge.”
Will Orton, 25, told the Press Association, said: “We were in the Sheaf pub. Basically lots of people came running inside, we didn’t really know what was going on.
“We thought maybe there was a fight or something outside. And then there were almost hundreds of people coming inside.
“The bouncers did a really good job, they shut the doors and locked everyone in.
“There was panic - it seemed like it was literally outside the door.
“People were coming inside and saying they had witnessed people being stabbed.
“They had seen and witnessed people being stabbed.
“It seemed like it was happening immediately outside the entrance.”
A taxi driver called Chris told LBC said he saw men armed with foot-long knives after a van drove on to the pavement.
He told the station: “I didn’t see the van mount the kerb, but I saw everything else.
“A van came from London Bridge itself, went between the traffic light system and rammed it towards the steps. It knocked loads of people down.
“Then three men got out with long blades, 12 inches long and went randomly along Borough High Street stabbing people at random. I saw a young girl stabbed in the chest.”
Prime Minister Theresa May, who has been campaigning in the General Election, was returning to Downing Street to receive further briefings from security officials, No 10 said. She will chair a a meeting of the Government’s Cobra emergency committee tomorrow, Sunday.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said US president Donald Trump had been briefed on the incident by his national security team.
Alex Mayer, MEP for the East of England tweeted: “Terrible news from London again. Thoguths with the victims, and emergency services who we all rely on at times like this.”