Deaths Confirmed In The UK Parliament Attack

by Elizabeth Strassner
Jack Taylor/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Scotland Yard confirmed Wednesday that an apparent attack on Parliament and the Westminster Bridge was being investigated "as a terrorist incident." As of this writing, the attack is thought to have been twofold: a vehicle reportedly attempted to run over people on the Westminster Bridge, and an assailant with a knife was reported by Parliament. As police work to piece together this afternoon's events — and to identify the attacker or attackers — victims are being treated on the scene and at local hospitals. At the time of writing, the BBC had reported that four people were dead, including the suspected attacker, and "at least 20" were injured.

Initially, UK officials confirmed that one woman was pronounced dead as a result of the attack. "I confirmed one fatality," Dr. Colleen Anderson told reporters. "A woman. She was under the wheel of a bus. She died, confirmed her death at the scene." Anderson described many victims' injuries as "catastrophic" and confirmed that she also treated a police officer in his thirties with a head injury, according to the BBC. A second casualty, a police officer who was reportedly stabbed by an attacker, has also been confirmed. According to reports, MP Tobias Ellwood attempted to save the officer by giving him mouth-to-mouth and applying pressure to wounds in an attempt to stop bleeding.

Carl Court/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Sky News has reported that an image of a man being carried away on a stretcher depicts a suspect in the attack. The man's identity has not been made public as of this writing but he has since been reported dead by the Telegraph and other major UK outlets. The suspected attacker is one of four people reported dead after the Wednesday incident.

As medical professionals and law enforcement work to treat victims and clear the scene, the identities of the deceased and the injured are not yet known. It is clear from early reports, however, that there were many injuries at the scene.

Shortly before 5 pm London time, the Financial Times reported, police commander BJ Harrington confirmed that there were "multiple casualties" as a result of the attack, "including police officers," but could not confirm the number of those injured or the nature of injuries sustained. Another apparent victim was pulled from the Thames this afternoon, alive but with "serious injuries," according to a port authority spokesperson.

Emergency services arrived shortly after the incident and worked to treat victims on the scene. London Ambulance Service confirmed that at least ten patients were treated on the bridge and that many hospitals are on high alert. One eyewitness, who said she was on Westminster Bridge at the time of the attack, told ITV News that she heard "what we thought were gunshots" and saw "bodies strewn across the bridge," also estimating "at least ten" such bodies.

"I know the whole country will be thinking of and praying for those affected in this terrible incident," said UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd in a statement. "Our top priority is people's security."