LON­DON ON ALERT

Ter­ror cops swoop on driver af­ter mu­seum car smash

The People - - NEWS FEATURES & - By Dan War­bur­ton, Alan Selby, An­to­nia Paget and Ni­cola Fi­field

A CABBIE sparked a huge ter­ror panic yes­ter­day af­ter mount­ing the kerb and in­jur­ing 11 at the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum.

Po­lice screamed “run, run” as armed anti-ter­ror cops swooped and the driver was pinned down in a pool of blood.

A child was one of nine taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter the car swerved across the road and ploughed into the pedes­tri­ans at one of Bri­tain’s busiest tourist spots.

The driver jumped from the car and started run­ning, but he was brought to the ground be­fore be­ing led away with cuts.

Gun­fire

En­gi­neer So­phie Parry, 56, said: “We heard three pops, they sounded like gun­fire but it seems it could have been the car hit­ting bol­lards.

“I looked up and we could see the car with a cy­clist on the bon­net. It veered across the road and hit two parked cars.

“We couldn’t see any­one in the car but peo­ple were tend­ing to the cy­clist.”

Another wit­ness, who did not want to be named, said: “He revved his en­gine and there were three loud bangs.

“He hit the wall and peo­ple were laid out on the floor.

“But he jumped from the car and started run­ning. Some­one rugby tack­led him to the floor and he was pinned down.”

His smashed-up black Toy­ota Prius was a reg­is­tered taxi with a pri­vate hire li­cence. One re­port said he was an Uber driver. Scores of am­bu­lances were scram­bled to the scene in Kens­ing­ton, West Lon­don, as a huge cordon was thrown up around the site.

A he­li­copter hov­ered over­head as swarms of of­fi­cers combed the site.

The se­cu­rity worker and his pal who tack­led the driver were driven away by po­lice.

The in­ci­dent­nci­dent comes as the UK re­mains s on high ter­ror alert. It t was se­ri­ous enough to war­rant a com­ment ent from the Prime Min­is­ter.

Theresa esa May said: “My thanks hanks to the first re­spon­ders spon­ders at this in­ci­den­ti­dent this af­ter­noon oon and the ac­tions ions of mem­bers ers of the pub­lic.blic. My thought­shts are with the in- ju­red.” Two ter­ror­ist at­tacks in Lon­don this sum­mer left 12 dead and 98 in­jured. But last night po­lice con­firmed the crash was a road ac­ci­dent.

Nearby work­ers told how they helped shel­ter peo­ple flee­ing be­fore po­lice evac­u­ated.

A chef at the Casa Brindisa restau­rant said:sa “Peo­ple were runn run­ning down the str street scream­ing. T They came flood­ing in into the restau­rant to get off the street. B But in sec­onds, the po­lice were here or­der­ing peo­ple to get out of the restau­rant.”

Another wit­ness who was vis­it­ing the Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum, over­look­ing Ex­hi­bi­tion Road, said: “I could see a woman and a child on the ground be­ing treated by paramedics.

“The child looked pri­mary school age, but I couldn’t tell if it was a boy or girl.

“It seemed as though they were sta­bil­is­ing them to take them to hos­pi­tal. “We could see a hand­ful of other peo­ple stand­ing around with the paramedics a nd po­lice, but it wasn’t clear if they had been in­jured or not.”

Pixie Lott’s f i ance Oliver Cheshire helped to res­train the man be­hind the wheel.

The model, 29, took to Twit­ter to say he was one of the have-ago he­roes who helped to de­tain the blood­ied driver on the ground. Last night he said: “Thanks for mes­sag­ing ev­ery­body. I’m OK. Thank you to the men who helped me pin him down and the po­lice.”

The chaos erupted at the busiest time of day on a Satur­day af­ter­noon at 2.20pm.

The Nat­u­ral His­tory and V&A mu­se­ums at­tract nearly eight mil­lion vis­i­tors a year.

A spokesman for Scot­land Yard said: “In­juries are not be­lieved to be life-threat­en­ing or life- chang­ing. The man de­tained is cur­rently in cus­tody at a North Lon­don po­lice sta­tion. The in­ci­dent is a road traf­fic in­ves­ti­ga­tion and not a ter­ror­ist-re­lated in­ci­dent.”

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