A possible London Bridge attack is under investigation after reports that a white van plowed into a crowd of people at the iconic landmark and an attacker stabbed several other people.
Late on Saturday, police responded to reports that a number of pedestrians were struck in central London in what some have described as an intentional attack. Witnesses said two to three attackers then stabbed several people with large knives.
“Witnesses have said that armed officers are understood to be at the scene after a white van mounted the pavement before driving into people,” BBC News reported. “The Metropolitan Police say they are dealing with an incident on the bridge.”
Traffic on London Bridge was diverted as police investigated the scene. Witnesses said a male driver was traveling at a high rate of speed when his van jumped over the curb and struck pedestrians there. At least five people have been treated for injuries in that attack. Pictures of the London Bridge terrorist attack showed several bodies strewn on the ground.
“A white van driver came speeding – probably about 50mph – veered of the road into the crowds of people who were walking along the pavement,” noted BBC reporter Holly Jones (via the Evening Standard), who was on the scene when the attack took place. “He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind.”
Reports indicated that it was a coordinated attack that may have included a group of attackers.
“There have been reports of two to three men armed with knives stabbing people at random,” The Sun reported. “The white van which reportedly crashed into pedestrians was said to be travelling at around 50mph.”
Witnesses told The Sun that there were many victims of the attack.
“There’s been about eight of them stabbed. I ran up to see if they were all right but people were already with them. I was bloody terrified,” a witness named Martin told the outlet. “I thought is that real? If we had of been on the other side of the road, it could have been us.”
There were not yet other details on the incident, and police have not yet said officially if the London Bridge incident was an act of terrorism. London was the scene of a previous attack in March, when a 52-year-old man named Khalid Masood drove into pedestrians on the south side of Westminster Bridge, killing four and injuring more than 50 people.
The attacker was stabbed by a police officer and shot by another officer, and died on the scene.
London officials described that attack as an act of “Islamist-related terrorism” and noted that the attacked had sent a text message just before his death saying he was committing an act of jihad against Western forces.
This was followed late last month by a bombing attack in Manchester following an Ariana Grande concert, one that left 23 adults and children dead. The attacker, 22-year-old Salman Ramadan Abedi, reportedly detonated the shrapnel-laden explosive among a group of people who were exiting the concert. Abedi was also killed in the attack.
Abedi was also suspected of working with a terror network, though police have yet to divulge more about whether others were involved in the attack.
There were still other details about the London Bridge attack missing, including the number of possible fatalities and a motive for the attack. There were also reports from witnesses that police officers took at least one person into custody at the scene, but it was not immediately clear if the person was connected to the attack.
[Featured Image by Jack Taylor/Getty Images]