A loud explosion and gunshots have been fired outside the Houses of Parliament in the past few moments.
Although information is scarce at the moment – it has been confirmed by an official source that an attacker was shot and three police officer have been injured. One officer died at the scene.
It is suspected that a car, thought to be a 4×4, drove into numerous pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, injuring ‘dozens’ according to eyewitnesses, before crashing into the railings of Parliament where the driver left the vehicle and attacked a police officer.
One woman and a man have since been confirmed dead by St. Thomas hospital while numerous others have ‘catastrophic injuries’.
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) March 22, 2017
An eye witness to attack on Westminster bridge pic.twitter.com/p19P2lnSjK
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) March 22, 2017
Met Police Commander, BJ Harrington, spoke to the press two hours after the attack, saying:
I will confirm the facts from today but I will not speculate. The events near Parliament Square, Westminster have been declared a terrorist incident and a counter terrorism unit is currently investigating the attack at Westminster.
There are a number of casualties including police officers at Westminster.
I will not speculate. The public should remain vigilant. Share and hand in any information, footage, pictures to the police and if you see anything at all suspicious ring 999 immediately.
Harrington added that the Head of Scotland Yard was present at the attack.
Police are referring to the attack as a ‘terrorist incident’.
Shots fired outside Parliament. Loud explosion then shooting. Man lying shot outside gates to Parliament. Gun shots outside, Frightening.
— Christopher Hope ? (@christopherhope) March 22, 2017
Around four shots were reportedly fired, according to the Mirror.
There are reports of another incident on Westminster Bridge with some witnesses claiming that ‘at least a dozen’ people were ran over with a car.
We were called at approx 2:40pm to reports of an incident at #Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident – police on scene
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
Westminster: EARLY reports suggest: car hits pedestrians on bridge; crashes into Parliament railings; driver gets out attacks PC, then shot
— Mark Urban (@MarkUrban01) March 22, 2017
One eyewitness told Sky News:
[Man with knife] was inside Palace of Westminster. Someone rushed through, attacked a policeman… he appeared to be carrying a knife. We heard lots of gunfire.
We heard a very loud bang outside the press gallery. We heard lost of shouting, there were men running around. Then I looked to my left and someone rushed through gates at Westminster and attacked a policeman.
Another policeman came and rescued him and the man who assaulted him got up and appeared to be carrying a knife. We heard lots of gunfire. Five or six rounds.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) March 22, 2017
People running out of parliament pic.twitter.com/eV0UpJ5RfH
— David Scullion (@DavidScullion) March 22, 2017
Ambulance arriving at Houses of Parliament incident pic.twitter.com/Bmf5ipyfBB
— Karl Necke (@karlnecke) March 22, 2017
The attacker has been described as ‘Asian’ and carrying a seven inch knife.
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) March 22, 2017
Parliament is currently in a state of lockdown while police carry out a search in the building.
Worryingly, today is the first year anniversary of the horrific attacks in Brussels last year which left 32 people dead.
Our thoughts go out to the families of all those injured and killed in today’s horrific and cowardly attack…
More to follow
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.