Four people have died following a terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament.
A man was shot outside the Houses of Parliament after a car mowed down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge and a police officer was stabbed in the terrorist attack this afternoon.
Four people died in the attack, including PC Keith Palmer, a woman in her 40s, a man in his 50s, and the attacker – and 29 people were injured. (Note: police originally reported five dead and 40 injured but this was updated on March 23)
Southwark News sales assistant Sarah Stewart, who lives in Bermondsey, was at the Lambeth Music Festival at the Southbank Centre when the building was evacuated.
She reported three helicopters circling over London Eye, Waterloo Station, and the South Bank Centre, at about 4pm.
Lambeth Music Festival was been abandoned and the building evacuated.
It is believed 500 people including schoolchildren were attending the event.
Shaky video of commotion after Parliament shooting. pic.twitter.com/ofGZwcMgaA
— Patrick Daly (@thepatrickdaly) March 22, 2017
“I’m outside the South Bank Centre and they’re telling everyone to go to Waterloo Station,” said Sarah, aged 23.
“They have put the whole of the South Bank area on lockdown. Nothing is going to reopen until tomorrow.
“No one is being allowed back in. They are no letting us near the river.
“There about 200 or 300 people around me. I don’t think everyone has heard what happened in Westminster yet.
“All the kids who were at the Lambeth Music Festival have gone with their teachers.
“About 20 security guards were called down.
“It looks like the police are trying to close down Westminster Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and [Hungerford Bridge].”
The scene at Westminster after a policeman was stabbed. Credit: Patrick Daly @thepatrickdaly
Witnesses told of hearing screams and gunshots ring out near Westminster at about 2.40pm today, Wednesday.
It is believed a 4×4 vehicle ploughed down numerous people on Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings outside of Parliament.
Some pedestrians either jumped or were knocked over the side of the bridge as the car mounted the pavement and struck a number of pedestrians.
A man stabbed an unarmed policeman before being shot three times by an armed policeman.
Sitting in the Commons was suspended and MPs and journalists were told to stay inside as the surrounding area continues to be in lockdown.
Cmdr Harrington of the Met Police said: “The events near Parliament Square Wesminster has been declared a terrorist incident.
“There are a number of casualties including police officers.”
A police cordon is in place and people are being asked to avoid the following areas: Parliament Square; Whitehall; Westminster Bridge; Lambeth Bridge; Victoria Street up to the junction with Broadway and the Victoria Embankment up to Embankment tube.
Southwark MPS are all safe
Thoughts with police & pedestrians. My team & I safe. Commons in lockdownhttps://twitter.com/DailyMirror/status/844564437700956165/photo/1
— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) March 22, 2017
Helen Hayes, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood, and Harriet Harman MP both tweeted that they were safe.
Neil Coyle MP’s senior parliamentary assistant, Laura Hutchinson, said she was in Portcullis House but was told to go to Norman Shaw North building after it was evacuated.
Mr Coyle was voting in the chamber before the Commons was suspended.
“Thanks to those who have been in touch re serious incident in Parliament My team & I are safe,” she said. “Thoughts with brave police officers & injured.”
Thanks to those who have been in touch re serious incident in Parliament My team & I are safe. Thoughts with brave police officers & injured
— Helen Hayes (@helenhayes_) March 22, 2017
Southwark Council leader Peter John tweeted: “Alarming scenes from Westminster – hallmarks of terrorism but will not affect our commitment to democracy.”
Alarming scenes from Westminster – hallmarks of terrorism but will not affect our commitment to democracy
— Peter John (@peterjohn6) March 22, 2017
This is to allow the emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident.
A spokesperson said: “Police were called at approximately 2.40pm to reports of an incident in Westminster Bridge, SW1. It is being treated as a firearms incident.
“Officers – including firearms officers – remain on the scene and we are treating this as a terrorist incident until we know otherwise.
“We thank the public for their assistance.
“Police are appealing for any members of the public who may have images or footage of the incident to send them to this address: http://www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk/”
Updates to follow.