London Attack: Police Confirm Multiple Deaths in Attacks Near Parliament, Investigating as Terrorism

Ambulances in London
Ambulances, police vehicles and emergency services seen on Westminster Bridge on March 22 in London, England. Carl Court/Getty

Updated | Four people have died, including one police officer, and at least 20 more are injured following a terrorist attack around Britain's Houses of Parliament. The assailant has also died after armed police shot and killed him.

The attacker drove a Hyundai car through people on Westminster bridge before crashing into the railings. He then got out the car and ran into the parliamentary complex, fatally stabbing a police officer, now named by police chiefs as 48-year-old Keith Palmer, before police shot him.

Colleen Anderson, a junior doctor at St. Thomas’ Hospital confirmed to reporters outside the medical center that a female pedestrian was among the fatalities, saying that she was found under the wheel of a bus. Others, Anderson said, were found across the bridge, some with “catastrophic” injuries.

King’s College Hospital has also confirmed that it is treating eight injured people. Two of these patients, it said, are critically injured.

Speaking to reporters, Mark Rowley, a senior police officer for London’s Metropolitan police force, said that they believe only one person was involved in the assault. He refused to comment on whether the assailant was known to police, though he added that a major terrorist investigation was underway.

Rowley added that as a precaution, parliament would remain on lockdown with armed police searching the surrounding area. “This is a day we planned for but we hoped would never happen,” Rowley said. “Sadly it’s now a reality.” Rowley added that the Met plans to deploy more armed officers across the capital in the coming days.

Here's what we know as of 10.42 p.m. GMT:

  • Four people have died, three members of the public and one police officer, Keith Palmer.
  • Police have also killed the attacker, who they believe acted alone.
  • The attacker drove a car into people on Westminster Bridge, killing one woman and injuring several.
  • One police officer was killed in a stabbing near the Houses of Parliament.
  • Police confirmed at least 20 people are injured; some have “catastrophic injuries.” Among them were three police officers.
  • World leaders have expressed condolences and U.S. President Donald Trump offered his “full support.”

London Attack London—Injured people are assisted after an assailant drove a car through people on Westminster bridge before crashing into the railings near Britain's Houses of Parliament on March 22. The suspect then got out the car and ran into the parliamentary complex, fatally stabbing a police officer before police shot and killed him. Four people died and at least 20 more were injured. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan said an urgent investigation is underway and confirmed that the attack is being treated as an act of terrorism. The incident occurred on the one-year anniversary of the Brussels terrorist attacks which left 32 people dead and 320 injured. Toby Melville/Reuters

The British Prime Minister Theresa May held a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, Cobra, in the evening .

Speaking outside her office at Downing Street after the meeting, May paid tribute to the “exceptional bravery” of police and security services, and confirmed that among the injured were three police officers, in addition to the one officer who died.

She vowed that the “sick and depraved terror attack on the streets of our capital” would not stop parliament from meeting as normal.

“ These streets of Westminster, home to the world's oldest parliament, are ingrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe,” May said.

"Let me make it clear today…any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure. Tomorrow morning, parliament will meet as normal. We will come together as normal,” she added.

U.S. President Donald Trump has already spoken with May to offer his condolences. Trump also pledged the full cooperation and support of the U.S. in responding to the attack and bringing those responsible to justice.

France’s President François Hollande has published a video on Twitter expressing France’s solidarity with Britain. Three French schoolchildren were among the injured on Westminster bridge.

The Port of London also confirmed that one woman, believed to be on the bridge when the ramming happened, was pulled out alive from the river Thames and is being treated for serious injuries by paramedics.

London Ambulance service confirmed that it treated 10 people on the bridge.

Among the survivors was 24-year-old Rob Lyon, a marketing director who was in London on a work trip. Speaking to Newsweek, Lyon recounted his lucky escape.

“We just saw a grey black car just…we saw it coming along the pavement towards us,” Lyon said. “I saw people hit in front of me. James, who I was with, shouted ‘get out of the way’ I think, it happened so quickly. I jumped to the left into the road. I then looked around me in shock.”

Albert Mustali, a 43-year-old plumber who was driving home from a house call told Newsweek he saw the assailant’s crashed car “and a lady next to it who was hit on the floor.”

“I was scared, I just wanted to get away from there. It was very scary, you don't even know what is going on. We didn't know if we were safe or not,” Mustali added. “I did not see the driver, just that poor lady lying down on the floor.”

Tawhid Tanim, a 28-year-old consultant who was at a coffee shop nearby, told Newsweek he heard the police shoot dead the assailant . “All I could hear there was a shot, bang, bang, bang; it was three times,” he said.

GQ’s political correspondent shared a photo from the scene of the shooting showing Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative member of parliament, attempting to resuscitate the stabbed police officer. Ellwood lost his brother, Jonathan Ellwood in the 2002 Bali bombing.

Speaking to Newsweek at the scene, Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield, said she was shocked by the attack and called for a security review. She had been on her way from Portcullis House to the Commons chamber to vote, but saw people running the other way and decided to leave the building, along with a group of about 30.

"We are all much more conscious of security," at the moment, she said. "Of course there will have to be a security review after this," Creagh said. “This is the heart of our democracy, this is an attack on our democracy.”

Only on Tuesday, Eric Hepburn, parliament’s director of security for the last six months, said at the Home Affairs Select Committee that MPs were in “a very good position” in terms of protection from an attack.

As evening falls, the area around parliament remains cordoned off. Police have warned the public to remain vigilant and Westminster underground train station remains closed.

Various London landmarks were affected. People were evacuated from the Royal Festival Hall while the London Eye was suspended. London’s mayor Sadiq Khan has said an urgent investigation is underway. He confirmed that this is being treated as an act of terrorism.

In Scotland and Wales, both regional parliaments were suspended. The U.K. parliament will meet tomorrow as normal.

Today’s incident occurs on the one-year anniversary of the Brussels terrorist attacks which left 32 people dead and 320 injured.