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Saturday, 7 October 2017

Car which mounted pavement outside London museum sparking panic was road accident, say police

Police have said the incident in which a car mounted  the pavement outside the Natural History Museum in London, sparking fears of a terror attack, was a traffic accident.

A man was dragged from a car after it ploughed into pedestrians outside them useum in London on Saturday, injuring several people.

The car mounted the pavement before ploughing into two other vehicles, hitting visitors as they made their way to the museum, in one of London’s busiest tourist areas.

Moments later security guards appeared to drag the man from the black Toyota Prius - understood to be a licenced taxi cab - and bundle him to the ground.

A passer-by named as Maxim said: "They took the man from the car and put him on the ground and then 20 minutes later evacuated the street. There was a lot of police, I saw people running people were panicking."

Within minutes of the incident armed police had arrived at the scene amid fears of a terrorist attack and Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May was “being kept fully informed” of developments.

Whitehall sources later said the incident was "not thought" to be a terrorist attack.

Car which hit pedestrians went on to plough into two other vehicles  CREDIT: DANNY SMITH

Scotland Yard 

Nine people were left in need of hospital treatment following the collision.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Police were called at 1421 on Saturday, 7 October to reports of a collision in Exhibition Road, South Kensington.

"It is believed that a number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers are on scene, and the London Ambulance Service have been called.

"A man has been arrested at the scene. Enquiries to establish the circumstances and motive are underway. If you have any information about this incident, please call 101."

Reports suggested the black Toyota Prius which mounted the pavement was a licenced taxi cab.

Passers-by posted photographs of the driver of the car being held on the ground by security guards thought to be from the museum.

One eye-witness suggested the driver may have lost control of his vehicle before it spun across the road and hit another car, before striking pedestrians.

Greg King, a banker at Goldman Sachs, told MailOnline: "A black Toyota went ploughing straight towards us and the crowd. At that point I thought it had lost control. It went spinning round and as it did that it smashed into a sign and knocked it over.

"In the meantime it hit at least two or three people. It then went careering across the road and smashed into the side of another car that brought it to a stop. People jumped out of the back of the car and everyone was running.

"A member of the museum staff and a member of the public dragged him on the ground."

The incident follows a number of attacks in which vehicles have been used to target pedestrians.

In March this year Khalid Masood, drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people and injuring more than 50 people before he was dead by an armed officer outside the Houses of Parliament. 

The following month Islamist terrorists killed eight people and injured another 48 after using a van to drive into crowds at London Bridge before jumping out and stabbing customers in bars and restaurants.

Speaking moments after the incident outside the Natural History Museum, Emmanuel Hook , who was in the area at the time, said: "I was in a Chinese restaurant eating and all of a sudden all the diners just hit the floor and there were all these people running on Exhibition Road towards the station.

"I was sat by the window, it was really worrying seeing all these people panicking. All of a sudden a large gathering of police turned up in yellow vests, everyone was leaving their bags behind. 

"People were panicking and running, no one knew what was going on, there were policemen saying go go run. We had to leave the restaurant and run off. I was worried there might be crazy people in the area trying to hurt people."

Another witness, called Jane told Sky News: "I was getting off the tube going to the Natural History Museum. The doors opened and 50 people came running down the escalator, it was mass panic.

"There was an announcement over the tannoy asking everyone to leave the tube station.  My family and I jumped back on the tube as we thought the safest thing was to go to the next station. 

"I saw a lady who had large bandages on her legs, she was in a wheelchair in an ambulance."

The incident came two weeks after a bungled attempt to blow a bomb up on a District Line train at Parsons Green station, in south west London.

A number of people suffered minor injuries after the device partially exploded on the train, sending commuters fleeing in terror.

An 18-year-old man was charged with attempted murder and causing an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury after being arrested near the Port of Dover the following day.

He is due to appear at the Old Bailey on 13 October.

Source: The Telegraph

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