What Happened At Westminster Bridge? Parliament In London Is Temporarily Shut
On Wednesday, after reports of nearby gun shots, British parliament was temporarily shut down. The police also requested that nearby Westminster underground train station be closed as a further safety precaution. A police officer was stabbed within the perimeter of the Parliament building and the assailant was shot outside, according to Reuters. Officials and witnesses have told the news agency that multiple people have been injured at nearby Westminster Bridge. The Telegraph reported that St Thomas' Hospital confirmed one woman has died and several others have been wounded, saying some have suffered "catastrophic" injuries. Authorities have not released official numbers on the victims.
London Metropolitan Police Commander BJ Harrington said: "We know there are a number of casualties, including police officers, but at this stage we cannot confirm numbers or the nature of these injuries."
A Reuters photographer saw "at least a dozen people injured on Westminster Bridge and photographs showed people lying on the ground, bleeding heavily," according to the report. "I must have counted 8-10 prostrate figures on the ground," Richard Tyse, a witness who was walking out of the Westminster subway stop, told Sky News. "The whole length of the bridge there were people on the ground who had clearly been injured."
Sky Sports News' Alan Parry said he witnessed the event. "I was just outside Westminster tube station when I heard an almighty crash and a vehicle that looked like a 4x4 had crashed into the railings," said Parry, "There was smoke coming from underneath the bonnet. I saw a pedestrian or a cyclist who had clearly been hit." He continued, "The driver of the car sprinted away from the scene. That was followed by four what sounded very much like gunshots. Then all of a sudden all hell was let loose and police descended everywhere."
The parliamentary building is on lockdown. Further, the House of Commons session suspended and all present members in the chamber were told to remain there. The Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, retweeted notices from the police advising people to stay away from certain regions of the city, including "Parliament Sq, Whitehall, Westminster & Lambeth Bridge, Victoria St up to junction with Broadway & Victoria Embankment."
Avoid Parliament Sq, Whitehall, Westminster & Lambeth Bridge, Victoria St up to junction with Broadway & Victoria Embankment/tube #London— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 22, 2017
London's Metropolitan Police said the attack is being treated as "a terrorist incident until we know otherwise." According to the Chicago Tribune, the United Kingdom was already listed at the "severe" threat level for international terrorism. Shortly after the incident, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that she was safe but declined to say where she was located.