Tweets From The Westminster Bridge Attack Reveal How The London Incident Unfolded
Wednesday afternoon, London Metropolitan Police reported being called to a "firearms incident" at Westminster Bridge. The leader of the House of Commons, David Lidington, reportedly told MPs, "It seems that a police officer has been stabbed; that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police. An air ambulance is attending the scene to remove the casualties. There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity."
The Guardian's Vikram Dodd reported that the "early police view" is that there were two sites of attack — Westminster Bridge, where people were reportedly run over, and Parliament itself, where the policeman was reportedly stabbed and the attacker was reportedly shot.
Witness Richard Tice told Sky News that he "must have counted between eight and ten prostrate figures on the ground." Tice told Sky News he believed that an attacker used a motor vehicle: "a car or vehicle had driven along the whole pavement, knocking people over, and that's why there were many injuries, or many people laying on the ground." This account has not been confirmed.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who was apparently nearby when the incident occurred, was "rushed to a car," according to The Guardian. After the incident was reported, the House of Parliament suspended its operations, and MPs were asked to remain in the building. CNN reported that the Westminster tube station is temporarily closed because of the incident; in an aerial video from Sky News, traffic on the bridge, which includes several buses, appears to be at a standstill.
While much is still unknown about the incident, there are a number of tweets capturing the scene on the ground in London.
Early Reports Of The Incident
About five minutes we hard a bang, and then screams, from our office in the Palace of Westminster...— Charlie Cooper (@CharlieCooper8) March 22, 2017
UK Politico correspondent Charlie Cooper described hearing the incident from Politico's Westminster offices.
Witnesses Share Their Experiences
We're being told to stay inside our office here in Westminster. Shots heard outside Parliament. Public seen running away from the Commons.— Daniel Hewitt (@DanielHewittITV) March 22, 2017
ITV Political Correspondent Daniel Hewitt describes the immediate aftermath of the incident.
Terrifying in #Westminster now. We have been told we can't leave our office. It looks like someone has been shot. Public ran in panic.— Laura Hughes (@Laura_K_Hughes) March 22, 2017
Laura Hughes, political correspondent with the Daily Telegraph, reports fear, lockdown, and panic at the scene.
An Air Ambulance Lands To Provide Help
Air ambulance just landed at Parliament Square, Westminster, dozens of police cars pic.twitter.com/TZVTO6IzDR— Peter Yeung (@ptr_yeung) March 22, 2017
Times of London journalist Peter Yeung posted a video of what appears to be an ambulance helicopter landing near Westminster.
"A Bit Calmer" About An Hour After The Incident
Things where I am outside Westminster a bit calmer now pic.twitter.com/XDz7oIqbKK— Alison Mackenzie (@Alison1mackITV) March 22, 2017
ITV Political Correspondent Alison Mackenzie describes the scene at Westminster as "a bit calmer" around 30 minutes after initial reports of an attack.
Aerial Footage Shows Suspended Traffic
Aerial footage shows Westminster Bridge after an incident where a police officer was stabbed while stopping an assailant pic.twitter.com/hbooELo1g0— Sky News (@SkyNews) March 22, 2017
After the incident, buses and some vehicles appear to have remained on the bridge as paramedics arrive on the scene.
Describing The Noise & The Scene
Man receiving medical attention outside Westminster Hall. I heard loud explosion on Westminster bridge. Public running away— Christopher Hope (@christopherhope) March 22, 2017
Christopher Hope, Assistant Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph, describes a harrowing scene at Westminster.
Labour MP Praises Police Response
Superbly swift & professional armed police response - thank you for marshalling us, together with staff, visitors & kids as young as 3 here.— Anna Turley MP (@annaturley) March 22, 2017
Labour MP Anna Turley, who also tweeted that there are "no words for this kind of evil," praised the response of law enforcement to the incident.
To Witnesses, Car Attack Appears "Intentional"
Witness Graham Neal describes the scene on the bridge.
Police Sweep The Building
Being moved from T room to another part of House as armed Police sweep the building. Want to thank Police who put their lives on line 4 us— Pat Glass (@PatGlassMP) March 22, 2017
Labour MP Pat Glass describes being moved by the police and also praises their response to the incident.
Nearby Pedestrians Are Frightened, Too
Literally on edge walking down the street 10 minuets from Westminster. We should never live in fear in a world where we don't feel safe.— Brooks Way (@brooks_way) March 22, 2017
Former X Factor contestants Brooks Way described their fears about proximity to the attack.