Scotland Yard is investigating an incident Saturday when a man’s car jumped a curb outside London’s Natural History Museum, injuring 11 pedestrians in a tourist-heavy part of the city.
Officials said the driver of the vehicle was restrained by civilians before police took him into custody. London’s Metropolitan Police said on Twitter that the incident was not being treated as a terrorist attack, but instead as a “road traffic collision.”
Major cities across Europe, including London, have been the target of terrorists using vehicles to mow down pedestrians.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said counter-terrorism officials were involved in the investigation to help determine whether the driver intentionally targeted pedestrians in a tourist-heavy part of the city.
“Details are still emerging and I have spoken with and am in close contact with assistant Met commissioner Mark Rowley [head of UK counter-terrorism policing] and our other emergency services,” Khan said.
Police said the driver of the vehicle was arrested, but no charges have been announced.
London’s ambulance service said in a statement they treated 11 people, including the driver. Most of those hurt suffered leg and head injuries. Nine people were taken to hospitals and two were treated and released at the scene. Police said none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening.
The Guardian reported witnesses said the vehicle jumped the curb between two parked cars and struck several pedestrians before coming to a stop. The incident happened at 2:20 p.m. local time. Sky News said onlookers hauled the male driver out of the vehicle and pinned him to the ground, one man doing so while also holding his young daughter in his other arm. Video of the immediate aftermath posted to Twitter showed men holding the driver against the ground as pedestrians continued to mill around.
A nearby subway station was closed and a portion of the street was cordoned off, but otherwise police said London’s museum district was safe for pedestrians and tourists to visit.
By Eric DuVall