Terror scare at museum
Cab driver’s crash triggered terror attack panic
A CAR ploughed into crowds outside the Natural History Museum yesterday, sparking fears of a terror attack.
The driver, thought to hold a taxi licence, was pinned to the ground by security guards after the vehicle mounted the pavement.
Nine people were taken to hospital suffering leg and head injuries, with two more treated at the scene.
Shocked eyewitnesses told how the vehicle, with three female passengers, “drove into people” before smashing into another car.
Counter-terror officers were at the scene but last night the Metropolitan Police ruled out anything terror-related, saying it was a road traffic incident.
Families were seen fleeing in panic as the surrounding area was evacuated.
Shops and restaurants were shut down as well as nearby South Kensington underground station.
Among those who held the driver to the ground was pop star Pixie Lott’s fiancé, the model Oliver Cheshire, 29.
He was sitting in his Jaguar when the black Toyota Prius struck his vehicle.
Oliver said: “I got out of my car and grabbed him – three of us grabbed him – and someone phoned the police.”
Footage showed a man being pinned on the ground, with blood on the street beneath his chin.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “It is believed a car mounted the pavement and collided with a number of pedestrians.
“Eleven people were found at the scene with varying injuries and nine of them have been taken to hospital, and this includes the man that was detained by police.
“Their injuries are not believed to life-threatening or life-changing. The incident is a road traffic investigation and not a terrorist-related incident.”
Downing Street said that Prime Minister Theresa May had been kept up to date with developments.
In a message on Twitter, the Prime Minister said: “My thanks to the first responders at this incident and the actions of members of the public. My thoughts are with the injured.”
Two terrified tourists told Daily Star Sunday of the moment they were ordered to hide in the basement of nearby KCs Café.
Joseph DeGraff and his girlfriend Andy Cutting, both 23, took cover until they were ordered to evacuate by a police officer.
Joseph, from Washington DC, said: “We were sitting in the café, about to go to the museum, when we saw a stampede of people and someone told us to, ‘Hit the ground’.
“We went to the basement, we were there for about five minutes. Police told everyone to get out. There was a stampede of people running along the pavement.
“When I looked around there were about 10 to 15 police cars parked.
“We’ve only been in London since yesterday, but it hasn’t put us off the city.”
Deborah Terry told how she saw security guards rushing through the Natural History Museum moments after the incident – but had no idea what had happened until she checked her phone during a coffee break.
Deborah, 50, said: “We saw members of staff rushing about inside, but had no idea what was going on. Everyone seemed to be very calm.
“It was only when we sat down in the café after having a look around and we checked our phones that we realised something had actually happened”
■ALERT: Armed police. Inset, security guards with injured driver
■ SMASH: Wrecked Toyota Prius outside the museum