Car Rams British Parliament Gate, Driver Suspected Of Terrorism

Tuesday, August 14th 2018, 6:04 am
By: News On 6

London's Metropolitan Police said Tuesday that a man was under arrest on suspicion of terrorism after driving through a group of pedestrians and then ramming a gate outside the Houses of Parliament in the British capital.

Police said they were treating the crash as a terrorist incident, and noted that the investigation was being led by their counter-terrorism division.

"The driver of the car, a man in his late 20s, was arrested at the scene by armed officers... He was arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences," the Metropolitan Police, also known as the Met and Scotland Yard, said in a statement, adding that there was nobody else in the vehicle at the time of the crash and that no weapons were found.

Streets in the area surrounding the British legislature were cordoned off and closed to traffic during peak morning rush hour and there was a heavy police presence. London's ambulance service said it treated two people at the scene that they were taken to an area hospital for further evaluation, but their injuries were not believed to be serious.

Witnesses told British television networks that they saw the car driving toward Parliament at high speed.

"I think it looked intentional - the car drove at speed and towards the barriers," Ewalina Ochab told Britain's Press Association. "I was walking on the other side (of the road). I heard some noise and someone screamed. I turned around and I saw a silver car driving very fast close to the railings, maybe even on the pavement," she said. 

Barry Williams, another witness, told CBS News partner network BBC News that he saw the silver car "heading towards cyclists" while driving on the wrong side of the road. He said the cyclists were waiting for the lights to change, adding: "He hit the cyclists and then swerved over towards the safety barrier... and accelerated and hit it at quite high speed."

"I don't know whether he meant to hit the cyclist, they may just have been in the way, but he accelerated hard towards the barrier," Williams told the BBC. He said the car "actually came off the ground and landed again" as it slammed into the barrier and there was "a lot of smoke."

Williams said there were, "about 10 cyclists waiting for the lights to change, I don't think he hit all of them, he hit about four or five," one of whom Williams saw get up and start "to chase the car."