Four people were killed and at least 20 were injured outside the UK Parliament in London after an assailant plowed a car into pedestrians and stabbed a police officer, an incident that Metropolitan Police has declared a terrorist incident.
A woman died after an attacker struck several pedestrians as he drove a car on the bridge, before crashing into railings.
Police said there were a number of casualties and several people were being treated for “catastrophic” injuries.
Later on, Sky News quoted unspecified sources in a post on its Twitter account as saying that another person had died in the attack without giving further details.
Based on another report, a lawmaker who was providing medical assistance to the injured, said the second person who died during Wednesday incident was a police officer, who reportedly died at the scene.
London ambulance service says its staff have treated at least 10 patients on Westminster Bridge.
Russia’s RT reported that in another incident, up to 12 people were injured after a car mowed down pedestrians on the nearby Westminster Bridge.
Reports said at least three French students were among those injured in the attacks.
This video grab shows a car stopped on the sidewalk in front of the Palace of Westminster, which houses the Houses of Parliament in central London on March 22, 2017 during an incident. (Photo by AFP)
According to Reuters, the UK parliament building has been shut down after the attack with dozens of armed police carrying shields entering the building. MPs have been advised to remain inside the building.
David Lidington, the leader of parliament’s lower House of Commons told MPs: “What I am able to say to the house is there has been a serious incident,” AFP reported.
An injured man is assisted after an incident on Westminster Bridge in London, Britain March 22, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
“It seems that a police officer has been stabbed, that the alleged assailant was shot by armed police,” he noted, adding, “There are also reports of further violent incidents in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster.”
According to Lidington, an air ambulance was at the scene to take away casualties.
Following the incident, traffic was halted on Westminster Bridge with emergency vehicles swarming the area and police completely shutting off the bridge to traffic.
According to AFP, Westminster station on the London Underground train network, which is opposite the Houses of Parliament, was also closed,
At least a dozen people were reportedly injured on a nearby bridge. A Reuters reporter says he has seen at least four people injured outside the parliament, some bleeding heavily and apparently unconscious.
No group or individual has so far assumed responsibility for the incident and a British security source have told Reuters that the motivation of the attack remains unclear.
British police sources say they are treating the incident as a terrorist incident until proven otherwise.
London’s Metropolitan Police said on Twitter, “We were called at approx 2:40 pm to reports of an incident at Westminster Bridge. Being treated as a firearms incident — police on the scene.”
It added, “Officers — including firearms officers — are on scene and dealing with the incident.”
A woman lies injured after a shooting incident on Westminster Bridge in London, Britain, March 22, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
A parliamentary official earlier said two people had been shot outside the parliament and the building was in lockdown.
The House of Commons session was suspended and members of parliament who were in the chamber were told to remain there.
Injured people are assisted after an incident on Westminster Bridge in London, March 22, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Meanwhile, a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said she was safe but did not specify where the prime minister was during the attack.
Police said they had been called to an incident at Westminster Bridge, officers were on the scene and it was being treated as a firearms incident.
The Westminster incident took place on the first anniversary of attacks in the Belgian capital Brussels that left over 30 people dead and more than 300 others injured.