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London Bridge Shut Down After Van Hits Pedestrians

One witness, who gave only his first name, Andrew, described a terrifying sequence in which a van careening across the London Bridge smashed into a railing. At least one man jumped out of the van and ran toward the bars and restaurants in nearby Borough Market, wielding a large knife.

“There was a guy with a big knife — I mean, I mean, a big knife,” Andrew told LBC Radio. He said at least one person was badly injured, his bloodied body on the ground.

“I hid behind a little bush for probably 10 seconds, maybe 20 seconds,” he said. “Then I ran for my life.”

Andrew said he raced through Borough Market, shouting at people inside the bars to escape. He thought that there may have been more than one attacker with a knife but was not certain.

Another witness told Reuters that she saw at least three people with knife wounds.

According to the BBC, police were looking for up to three attackers who may be armed.

Holly Jones, a BBC reporter who was on the bridge at the time of the incident, said the van was driven by a man and was “probably traveling at about 50 miles an hour.” She said that at least five people were being treated for injuries after the vehicle drove on the sidewalk and hit them a little after 10 p.m.

“He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people,” Ms. Jones said. “He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.”


A police officer standing on Borough High Street in London on Saturday. The police confirmed they were dealing with a major incident on the London Bridge and had sent armed officers to Borough Market. Credit Dominic Lipinski/Press Association, via Associated Press

Police and ambulance workers responded rapidly and evacuated pedestrians and shut down the London Bridge subway station. Ms. Jones later said that she saw a man being arrested by police.

Mark Roberts, who said that he was on London Bridge at the time, told CNN that the van was traveling south across the bridge toward London Bridge Station.

The van was speeding and swerving, Mr. Roberts said.

“I was just lucky it swerved across the other side,” he said. “It looked to me that the van was aiming for the people.”

Mr. Roberts said that the van hit several people on the bridge and that about 10 minutes later he heard what sounded like 10 to 20 gunshots.

After the Manchester bombing on May 22, when a suicide bomber blew himself up at the end of a concert by Ariana Grande and killed 22 and wounded dozens, the threat level in Britain was raised to critical, indicating that a terrorist attack was highly likely. But it was reduced to severe again several days later.

On March 22 there was an attack on Westminster Bridge, when Khalid Masood, 52, drove a car into pedestrians, killing four people and injuring 50, including stabbing a police officer to death, before being shot and killed near Parliament. The police treated that attack as “Islamist-related terrorism.”

A White House spokesman said President Trump has been briefed by his national security aides on the unfolding events in London, but that American officials did not have any details beyond the media reports.

Correction: June 3, 2017

An earlier version of this article misstated when a van drove into pedestrians on London Bridge. It was Saturday, not Sunday.

Source: NYT > World

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