‘Terrorist incident’ in London as car crashes near Parliament – NBCNews.com
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LONDON — A car plowed through pedestrians and cyclists outside Britain’s Houses of Parliament Tuesday in a rush-hour incident police are treating as a terrorist attack.
Officers swooped in on the wrecked, sliver Ford Fiesta after it crashed into a security barrier. The incident happened at the same location as a March 2017 terrorist attack.
The driver, a man aged in his late 20s, was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offenses.
Two people who suffered non-life threatening injuries were taken to a hospital, officials said. There was no one else in the vehicle and police said no weapons were found at the scene.
Authorities closed the nearby Westminster subway station, diverted buses and cordoned off a large area around the political heart of the British capital.
Several eyewitnesses said they saw the car drive into a group of 10 or 15 cyclists waiting at a red light.
Police near the scene of Tuesday’s crash. Hannah McKay / Reuters
Robert Nicholson, 36, was on his way to work when he saw the chaotic scene play out.
Nicholson, who works in digital marketing, said the car ran into the group of cyclists “head on.” He said the driver “made no attempt to slow down as he hit the cyclists.”
“There was a bike flying into the air,” he added. “I would say it was deliberate.”
Another witness, Ewelina Ochab, said she saw the car driving at a high speed.
“I heard some noise and someone screamed, I turned around and I saw a silver car driving from the crossing, very fast and close to the railings,” she told Euronews.
A suspect, seen center, was handcuffed and taken from the car.ITV Good Morning Britain
“There was a loud bang from the collision and a bit of smoke,” said Ochab, who works as a legal researcher and human rights advocate. “The driver did not get out. The guards started screaming to people to move away.”
Jason Williams, 45, recounted hearing a “loud bang” as the vehicle struck the barrier.
Williams told “Good Morning Britain” that police told passersby to “get out of the area.”
The crash occurred at 7:37 a.m. local time (2:37 a.m. ET).
Last year’s terrorist incident saw a man drive his car across Westminster Bridge and stab a police officer to death. Five people were killed, including the officer, and more than 50 injured.
The attack, as well as several similar ones across Europe, resulted in more security barriers being erected across the British capital to try to stop vehicle-based terror attacks.