Car hits pedestrians outside London museum; some injured
By GREGORY KATZ and JILL LAWLESS, Associated Press
LONDON (AP) — British emergency services raced to London’s Natural History Museum after a car struck pedestrians Saturday outside the building. Police said a number of people were injured and one person was detained at the scene.
The crash happened at 2:20 p.m. on a day when the central London museum is usually teeming with pedestrians, including international tourists.
Photographs showed a dented silver car and a man being pinned to the ground outside the museum. Witness Katie Craine said she was coming out of the museum when she saw a man in handcuffs pinned down by police near a damaged car.
“He looked really proud of himself,” she said. “He was laughing.”
British officials, however, have not classified the incident as a terrorist act.
“From what we’ve seen in the methodology of other attacks I wouldn’t rule it out, but we just don’t have enough information on the ground to determine that at this point,” said a British security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the investigation.
The London Ambulance Service was tending to the injured. There was no immediate statement on the number or severity of the injuries.
Shopkeepers in the immediate area were told to evacuate and police established a large security cordon around the area minutes after the incident, closing some roads. Police helicopters circled the scene overhead.
Police said they are working to establish the circumstances of the crash and more information will be provided once details are clear.
The Natural History Museum tweeted that there had been a “serious incident” outside the museum, which is located near the world famous Victoria and Albert Museum and other attractions.
Downing Street said British Prime Minister Theresa May was being briefed on the incident.
London’s official terrorist threat level has been set at “severe,” indicating an attack is highly likely.
There have been a series of terror attacks on London and Manchester this year, including vehicle attacks on pedestrians at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.
Associated Press writer Paisley Dodds contributed.