Westminster car crash: what we know

westminster car crash what we know
Westminster car crash: what we know
– A car has smashed into barriers surrounding the UK parliament in London
– Police arrested the driver on suspicion of terror offences

– Three people sustained injuries, none of which were life-threatening

– Two individuals were treated in hospital but later discharged

What happened

The incident took place shortly after 7.30 am local time on the main road between the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

A silver Ford Fiesta sped down the street, striking a group of cyclists before smashing into a concrete barrier designed to stop car bombs.

“He made no attempt to slow down as he hit the cyclists,” said Robert Nicholson, 36, who was on his way to work. “There was a bike flying into the air.”

Video captured by Euronews correspondent Vincent McAviney showed the light-coloured vehicle, its bonnet crumpled in the road. A man was dragged from the car by police and arrested.

Police moved bystanders away from the scene and closed roads in the area.

Ewelina Ochab witnessed the incident and told Euronews: “I was walking on the other side of the pavement from where the incident occurred. I heard some noise, and someone screamed. I turned around and I saw a silver car driving from the crossing — very fast and close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement.

“The car drove at speed into the barriers outside the House of Lords. There was a loud bang from the collision and a bit of smoke.

“The driver did not get out. The guards started screaming at people to move away. One elderly man rushed me to hide behind a monument, just in case. The police arrived very quickly.”

The suspect

The 29-year-old driver was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences after being pulled from the car.

Security minister Ben Wallace said the man is a British citizen who originally came from another country.

The suspect, who has not been formally identified, is not believed to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police, according to a statement from Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu.

He said it appeared to be a “deliberate attack”. The man is in a police station in South London.

No-one else was in the car with the suspect and no weapons have been found.

Basu said the police’s priority is “to formally identify the suspect and establish his motivations if we can”.

The head of UK counter-terrorism policing gave a statement following this morning’s incident.


Politicians and Londoners paid tribute to the work of the emergency services.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who is on holiday during parliament’s summer recess, said her thoughts were with the injured people. “The threat to the United Kingdom from terrorism remains severe. I would urge the public to remain vigilant,” she said.

“All Londoners, like me, utterly condemn all acts of terrorism on our city,” London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter.

US President Donald Trump, who has previously spoken out about security issues in London, said on Twitter: “These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength.”

The situation following the incident

The UK government held a meeting of its Cobra emergency committee and Prime Minister Theresa May commended the emergency services’ courage who “ran towards a dangerous situation in order to protect the public”.

May also asked the public to “carry on as normal” but remain vigilant.

Cordons around parliament began to be lifted about six hours after the incident and Westminster Underground station, close to parliament, was reopened to the public.

Britain is on its second-highest threat level of “severe”, meaning an attack is considered highly likely and the authorities say a dozen Islamist plots had been foiled since the attack in Westminster in March 2017.

[This article was corrected on 14/08/2018 to show the vehicle was a Ford Fiesta.]

Read on EuroNews

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