Driver Crashes Car Into Security Barriers At U.K. Parliament; At Least 3 Injured

August 14, 2018

Updated at 6:45 a.m. ET

A driver crashed a vehicle into security barriers outside the Houses of Parliament in London during the Tuesday morning commute, injuring at least three people, police and medical personnel say.

The suspect was arrested on “suspicion of terrorist offenses,” the Metropolitan Police say. He has been described only as a man in his late 20s, who had been driving the silver Ford Fiesta when it crashed through a stream of cyclists and pedestrians and hit a barrier.

“Our priority is to formally identify the suspect and establish his motivations if we can. He is not currently co-operating,” Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu said.

Images from outside the Palace of Westminster that were posted to social media showed the driver in handcuffs. Near the scene of the crash, cyclists stood or sat near their bikes as medical personnel worked in the background.

The London Ambulance Service says two people were treated at the scene and taken to the hospital for injuries that aren’t believed to be serious, and that “a third patient with minor injuries was assessed at the scene.”

NPR’s Frank Langfitt, reporting from London, says two of the injured are cyclists struck by the car.

The crash occurred just before 7:40 a.m. local time. In a rooftop video released by the BBC, the car can be seen suddenly veering across a small pedestrian plaza before racing down a side street and sidewalk — where two people leaped out of the way before the car slammed into a security barrier.

Armed officers arrested the driver, who was alone in the car. The crash drew a large response from police and ambulances.

Jason Williams, a witness quoted by Reuters, said the car hit a barrier hard on a lane used for access to the parliament building. Williams said it appeared deliberate.

“It’s a very serious incident,” he told reporters, according to the news agency. “There was smoke coming from the vehicle.”

The U.K. Parliament, which is in recess until September, released a statement saying, “Our thoughts are with all those impacted by this incident.”

London has experienced three vehicle terrorism attacks since last year.

In March 2017, a radical Islamist drove across Westminster Bridge, hitting pedestrians before crashing outside Parliament.

This is a developing story. Some things reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.