Car crashes into Downing Street gates but not ‘terrorism related’: police
Last update: May 26, 2023, 01:10am IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
A car is seen in front of the Downing Street gates after crashing into them, in London, Britain, on May 25, 2023. (Image: trendswire)
No injuries were reported. British media reported that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was in the building.
A man raised a major security alert on Thursday after a car crashed into the gates of the UK prime minister’s Downing Street compound in London, but police said they were not currently treating it as “terrorism related.” “.
Armed officers arrested the man at the scene on suspicion of criminal mischief and dangerous driving, shortly after the vehicle “ran into the Downing Street gates” at around 4:20 p.m. (1520 GMT), London police said. London.
No injuries were reported. British media reported that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was in the building, which houses both his office and his residence, when the incident occurred and left shortly after.
Video footage showed a silver car speeding through Whitehall, where many government ministries are located, pulling out of a gated area next to the Ministry of Defense, opposite Downing Street.
It then appeared to go up the pavement, stopping after banging on the large metal gates that guard the entrance to Downing Street.
Other images showed a police cordon surrounding the car, which appeared to be a Kia, with the trunk open.
Around two hours after the incident, London’s Metropolitan Police said in an update that a small cordon was maintained outside Downing Street, with the car still inside.
“The incident is being dealt with by local officers in Westminster and is not currently being treated as terrorism related,” the force added.
– ‘Slow impact’ –
Simon Parry, 44, was nearby when the drama unfolded.
“I heard a bang, looked up and saw a bunch of cops with tasers yelling at the man.
“Many police vehicles arrived very quickly and were very quick to evacuate the area.”
He added: “There were sniffer dogs and a bomb squad.”
Dean Parker, 36, told AFP that the driver “did not seem distressed. He seemed like he must have had some kind of episode or something.”
Parker, part of a protest encampment on the opposite side of the street, said the car was not driving fast.
“It doesn’t look like it tried to break through the doors… It was a pretty slow impact. The police handled it quite professionally and quickly.”
Downing Street is a short walk from the Houses of Parliament and the area has a high security presence, with barriers on the pavement and in front of government buildings following previous incidents.
A man plowed into pedestrians on the sidewalk near parliament in 2017 with a car, killing four people.
He then crashed the car into the fence surrounding parliament and raced onto the grounds, where he fatally stabbed a police officer. He was shot dead by an armed policeman.
Large gates were put up at the Downing Street entrance in 1989 as a result of IRA bombings in London, and the group fired three homemade mortar shells at the Prime Minister’s residence in 1991.
The gates are the first line of security, with armed police stationed at the entrance. Official cars entering the street normally have to be checked before the reinforced bollards are lowered to allow them through.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)