Pedes­tri­ans in­jured in London drama

11 in­jured but smash near tourist hotspot ‘not ter­ror-re­lated’

The Sunday Post (Dundee) - - News - By Gor­don Black­stock GBLACKSTOCK@SUNDAYPOST.COM

Eleven­peo­ple were in­jured af­ter a car mounted a pave­ment and knocked down pedes­tri­ans in one of London’s busiest tourist streets.

A mas­sive po­lice op­er­a­tion swung into ac­tion yes­ter­day af­ter­noon amid fears of a ter­ror at­tack.

Scores of of­fi­cers, many of them armed, swarmed to Ex­hi­bi­tion Road, South Kens­ing­ton, near the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, which was packed with tourists, evac­u­at­ing hun­dreds of peo­ple and put­ting the area into lock­down.

But po­lice later con­firmed it was not a ter­ror in­ci­dent.

Nine peo­ple were taken to hos­pi­tal af­ter the smash in­volv­ing a black Toy­ota Prius.

Last night, there were re­ports the driver had blacked out before the smash.

The London Am­bu­lance Ser­vice said most of the ca­su­al­ties – which in­cluded the driver – were treated for head and leg in­juries.

A Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice spokesman said: “11 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 be life-threat­en­ing or life-chang­ing.

“The man de­tained by of­fi­cers is un­der ar­rest and is in cus­tody at a north London po­lice sta­tion.

“The in­ci­dent is a road traf­fic in­ves­ti­ga­tion, not a ter­ror­ist-re­lated in­ci­dent.”

Eye-wit­nesses de­scribed chaos im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the crash with peo­ple “run­ning and scream­ing”, fear­ful it was a ter­ror at­tack.

Amer­i­can tourist Joseph De­graff, 23, who had been in a cafe on Ex­hi­bi­tion Road, said: “We saw a large stam­pede of peo­ple run­ning and thought, ‘what’s go­ing on?’

“Some­one who works in the cafe said ‘get on the ground’. We hit the floor. We were there for a few sec­onds, then they told every­one to get in the base­ment.

“At that point I thought it was a shoot­ing or a bomb or some­thing. We just didn’t know.

“The po­lice told every­one to get out of the cafe and we got out and ran.”

Es­sex man Con­nor Honey­man told re­porters he was in the queue for the mu­seum. He added: “We heard a hor­ri­ble thud­ding noise and a car en­gine. Every­one started run­ning and scream­ing in­side.”

Video footage cir­cu­lat­ing on so­cial me­dia showed the driver of the car be­ing re­strained on the ground fol­low­ing the crash. Other eye­wit­nesses praised the re­sponse from emer­gency work­ers who ar­rived at the scene within min­utes.

El­lie Mackay, who lives in a flat above an un­der­ground sta­tion nearby, said: “I heard a cou­ple of loud bangs.

“I thought there was a bomb on the un­der­ground. Within less than a minute the po­lice were there.

“The whole sit­u­a­tion was un­der con­trol within min­utes.”

Yes­ter­day’s in­ci­dent un­der­lined the dan­gers pedes­tri­ans face from traf­fic in city-cen­tres.

In 2014, six peo­ple were killed when bin lorry driver Harry Clarke blacked out at the wheel near Glas­gow’s Queen Street train sta­tion.

Mean­while, in 2010 two students – Mhairi Convy and Laura Ste­wart – were killed in Glas­gow city cen­tre when the driver of a Range Rover, Wil­liam Payne, blacked out and mounted the kerb.

Footage shows a man be­ing held by of­fi­cers fol­low­ing the crash near the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum. Left, the scene of the smash

Armed po­lice pa­trol the area around Ex­hi­bi­tion Road, as the scene is cor­doned off amid ini­tial fears of an­other ter­ror at­tack in the cap­i­tal

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