Far above the city of London, the London Eye is an enclosed Ferris wheel, but today, many tourists on the Eye were trapped above the Westminster Bridge, where a terror attack was unfolding below. Those on the London Eye had a frightening view of events but could do nothing. For two hours, the management of the London Eye followed the protocol as if an act of terrorism hit the city and kept the guests of the London Eye up in the air for just over two hours.
Below, officials said that they were treating the event as an act of terrorism until they are told something different, according to assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner, Mark Rowley, outside Scotland Yard’s headquarters, says the Washington Post.
“This is a day that we planned for but hoped would never happen. Sadly it has now become a reality. We are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.”
The Evening Standard said that hundreds of tourists were trapped on the London Eye, inside the individual carriages while below, violence was snowballing through Westminster. The London Eye, situated on the other side of the Thames from Parliament, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Management for the London Eye said they followed protocol and went on lockdown.
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They issued a statement to verify that they would not be releasing patrons until the events below were under control.
“At present we are holding all of our guests within our attractions as per tried and tested security procedures. The safety and security of our guests and staff will always be our number one priority.”
Many of the guests stuck on the London Eye used social media to communicate with the public around the world, doing everything from telling loved ones that they were okay to sending photos of the terror attacks below. Christina Lewis from Camden, England said that she could hear people screaming as the London Eye came to a stop (the London Eye is generally in constant movement, with people getting on board and disembarking every few minutes.
“It was scary at first everybody screamed and we thought the wheel had broken.”
A Spanish tourist who goes by the account name of Hersio on Twitter said that just before getting on The London Eye, he walked across the Westminster Bridge where many people were injured.
“I think we’re still here for safety, we still do not know when we’ll be down. We were up and suddenly we see a lot of police and ambulances arrive, everything has happened very fast.”
But after the two-hour mark, just after rush hour, the management of The London Eye started letting people disembark, and then led them to the Sea Life Centre, said CTV News. The official Twitter account of The London Eye kept in touch on Twitter throughout the terror event. They tweeted to confirm that they were restarting the Ferris wheel and letting guests disembark.
“We can confirm that guests are now disembarking the London Eye.”
But during the two hours, the tweets were varied, from calm to restrained panic.
“Can someone please let me off the
#LondonEye now please
#LondonEye???? a group of children of the #Gredos School of #LasRozas after the attack of #Londres– 4 dead and 20 wounded.”
While the terror story is still developing, those who were guests of The London Eye are now safely on Terra Firma.
How would you manage being trapped in a carriage aboard The London Eye while a terror event was unfolding below? Post below to send the people of London your support.
[Featured Image by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]