A policeman was been stabbed and later died from his injuries in the entrance to the Houses of Parliament, during a House of Commons debate on the Scottish referendum, following an incident on Westminster Bridge with 29 injured and two killed by the attacker in a large car.
Twitter reports of onlookers at the time reported that many people had been injured on Westminster Bridge by a 4×4 car with several bleeding profusely. The car finally crashed into a person and then into the railings at the end of the bridge. The attacker then exited the car and ran towards the entrance of the Palace of Westminster and was detained by police in New Palace Yard when he drew a knife and stabbed an unarmed officer who later died of his wounds. The assailant was shot dead by police.
Scotland Yard’s acting deputy commissioner Mark Rowley has confirmed that four people were killed in the Westminster incident, including the policeman who has been named as Keith Palmer, the assailant and two pedestrians on Westminster Bridge.
Injuries from the bridge range from minor to severe and seven people remain in a critical condition in hospital. Among the victims were three members of a group of French school children that sustained serious injuries after being hit by the Hyundai car at up to 50 miles per hour. The lights of the Eiffel Tower were turned off at midnight on the evening of the attack as a mark of respect to those that lost their life.
A Spanish teacher from DLD school, a British woman of Galican origin named as Aysha Frade died at the scene after being thrown under a bus.
Five south Korean tourists were also injured at the scene. And several others escaped with light injuries.
The Prime Minister Theresa May was seen to be rushed into a car amid a group of armed police officers and is reported safe.
Heavily armed police with shields surrounded the Palace of Westminster and MPs suspended the House of Commons session, but remained within the room. The Scottish referendum debate has now been rescheduled for Tuesday 28 March.
Following the attack Prime Minster Theresa May issued this statement:
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected; to the victims themselves and their family and friends who waved their loved ones off, but will not now be welcoming them home.
For those of us who were in Parliament at the time of this attack, these events provide a particular reminder of the exceptional bravery of our police and security services who risk their lives to keep us safe.
Once again today, these exceptional men and women ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move the other way.
On behalf of the whole country, I want to pay tribute to them and to all our emergency services for the work they have been doing to reassure the public and bring security back to the streets of our capital city.
That they have lost one of their own in today’s attack only makes their calmness and professionalism under pressure all the more remarkable.
The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech.
These streets of Westminster – home to the world’s oldest parliament – are engrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our parliament represents – democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law – command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere.
That is why it is a target for those who reject those values.
But let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before: 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.
And Londoners – and others from around the world who have come here to visit this great city – will get up and go about their day as normal.
They will board their trains, they will leave their hotels, they will walk these streets, they will live their lives. And we will all move forward together. Never giving in to terror. And never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.”