Man Arrested After Car Hits Pedestrians At Westminster

police outside parliamentPA

A car has crashed into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament, injuring a number of pedestrians.

Metropolitan police have arrested one man in connection with the incident.

In a statement, Scotland Yard said:

At 7.37am today, (August 14), a car was in collision with barriers outside the Houses of Parliament.

The male driver of the car was detained by officers at the scene. A number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers remain at the scene.

We will issue further information when we have it.

NBC News correspondent, Vincent McAviney, posted this video from the scene:

In another tweet, the reporter said police are treating it as ‘a counter terrorism-related incident’.

However, according to the Metro, it is not confirmed whether the incident is terror-related, yet counter terror officers are at the scene.

Several streets around Parliament Square, Millbank and Victoria Tower Gardens have been cordoned off, according to Sky News.

Armed police were seen leading the driver of the vehicle away in handcuffs and a number of ambulances are at the scene, as well as ‘dozens’ of armed police.

An eyewitness said it was ‘very very dramatic’.

He said:

I seen smoke coming out of a vehicle. It’s all been high speed – you’ve got the specialists coming in… it’s been dramatic. [sic]

police outside parliamentITV

Sky‘s home affairs correspondent, Mark White, said:

This has taken an ominous turn, with the confirmation that pedestrians have been injured.

Anyone who knows this area will know that there is a filter off that allows vehicles to go into Parliament itself… there is a big barrier that comes across the road, designed to protect the buildings.

Parliament is currently in summer recess, meaning there are fewer politicians working in London at the moment.

However, there are still many other people working in Parliament and nearby areas, including political journalists.

car crash outside parliamentITV

A bus driver who saw the accident told Sky News:

I stopped the bus because of the crash, and police told us to ‘move back’.

I think it’s not a regular traffic accident, because there’s a barrier there. So I don’t know why someone would drive into the barrier.

I saw someone was arrested, but I couldn’t see him closely. He was taken away very quickly.

Although it’s reported a number of pedestrians were hit in the incident, Metropolitan Police have said no one is thought to be in a life-threatening condition.

They tweeted:

At this stage, officers do not believe that anybody is in a life-threatening condition. Cordons are in place to assist the investigation. Westminster tube station is closed.

BBC reporter, Callum May, said:

Parliament Square is now ringed by blue police tape. There is a large group of armed officers in the square.

Paramedics are treating a small group of people sitting on the ground outside the Palace of Westminster.

They are wrapped in silver blankets. One eyewitness, who declined to give his name, said he saw a small hatchback drive into a group of cyclists and then into the barrier outside the Palace of Westminster. The man said that the driver’s action appeared deliberate.

Reinforced steel and concrete barriers were installed around Parliament after the 2017 Westminster Bridge terror attack.

UPDATE (August 14, 2.30pm)

The driver of the vehicle has been arrested on suspicion of terrorism offences.

The suspect, in his late 20s, is not believed to be known to MI5 or counter-terrorism police, and is apparently not co-operating with officers, reports BBC.

Scotland Yard’s head of counter terrorism Neil Basu said:

Given that this appears to be a deliberate act, the method and this being an iconic site, we are treating it as a terrorist incident.

He also added that there was ‘no intelligence of further danger’.

There was no one else in the car, and no weapons have been found.

One woman was taken to hospital for serious but non life-threatening injuries.