A car mounted a pavement and struck pedestrians outside London’s Natural History Museum, injuring 11 people – but the police are not treating it as terrorism.
Possible terrorism incident at Exhibition Road in Kensington. Man detained after car driven into people. pic.twitter.com/8qvG7vGTsW
— MBGA News (@MBGANews) October 7, 2017
Armed police raced to the busy tourist attraction in South Kensington and photos on social media showed a man being detained at the scene.
Police, who were called to reports of a collision in Exhibition Road at 2.21pm, confirmed they have a man under arrest and are working to establish a motive.
London Ambulance confirmed that 11 patients were treated for leg and head injuries at the scene, with nine taken to hospital. None of the injuries are life-threatening or life-changing.
Nearby museums were evacuated and adjacent roads were closed. In addition, the London Underground was temporarily closed between Embankment and South Kensington.
Downing Street confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May was being kept up to date with the incident.
There’s been a serious incident outside the Museum. We are working w/ @metpoliceuk and will provide an update when we have more information
— NaturalHistoryMuseum (@NHM_London) October 7, 2017
A Metropolitan Police statement said: “Whilst enquiries continue it is believed a car mounted the pavement and collided with a number of pedestrians.
“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 currently under arrest and is in custody at a north London police station. The incident is a road traffic investigation and not a terrorist-related incident.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan added: “A number of people have been injured in an incident involving a car in Exhibition Road, South Kensington. A man has been detained by police.
“Details are emerging and I have spoken with and am in close contact with Assistant Met Commissioner Mark Rowley and our other emergency services. Police have asked people to avoid the area.”
One local shopkeeper, who saw the car crash into another, told Sky News: “There was lots of panic. When I heard the crash I looked out and saw people running then I saw two police officers take the man out of the car and pin him to the ground.”
— Romain Afflelou (@RAFFLELOU) October 7, 2017
Eyewitnesses gave their accounts on social media.
One shocked onlooker wrote on Twitter: “Just witnessed a car drive into people in London. Safe for now please message your friends if they’re here near the National Museum.”
Local MP Greg Hands added: “Concerned at events at the Natural History Museum. Watching developments closely and thankful to our emergency services.”
The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most popular attractions, with 4.6 million visitors a year. Nearby is the Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum, making South Kensington one of London’s busiest tourist hubs.