Update: according to London police, the incident is not being treated as terror-related, with Scotland Yard describing it as a 'road traffic collision. '
- LONDON MUSEUM INCIDENT ROAD TRAFFIC COLLISION: UK POLICE
* * *
At least seven people were injured after a car mounted the pavement and "deliberately mowed down pedestrians" outside the Natural History Museum in London. The car mounted the pavement before ploughing into two other vehicles, hitting visitors as they made their way to the museum, in one of London’s busiest tourist areas.
Moments later security guards appeared to drag the man from the black Toyota Prius - understood to be a licenced taxi cab - and bundle him to the ground. The driver was arrested at the scene: he was pinned to the ground by the guards in front of stunned tourists shortly after 2.20pm this afternoon.
A close up photo of the attacker:
According to the Telegraph, intelligence sources say police are taking the lead into the investigation, pouring over all the available evidence to establish what, if any, motive there was.
A passer-by named as Maxim said: "They took the man from the car and put him on the ground and then 20 minutes later evacuated the street. There was a lot of police, I saw people running people were panicking." Within minutes of the incident armed police had arrived at the scene amid fears of a terrorist attack and Downing Street said Prime Minister Theresa May was “being kept fully informed” of developments.
The Natural History Museum tweeted: 'There's been a serious incident outside the Museum.
Photographs showed at least four police cars and a number of ambulances parked on Exhibition Road, outside the museum, as officers dealt with the incident. The photo below shows the car used in the attack.
Photo source: Danny Smith
Greg King, a banker at Goldman Sachs, told MailOnline: "A black Toyota went ploughing straight towards us and the crowd. At that point I thought it had lost control. It went spinning round and as it did that it smashed into a sign and knocked it over.
"In the meantime it hit at least two or three people. It then went careering across the road and smashed into the side of another car that brought it to a stop. People jumped out of the back of the car and everyone was running.
"A member of the museum staff and a member of the public dragged him on the ground."
A video from the aftermath of the apparent car attack:
Witness to London car collisions says: “Tables knocked over at restaurants. People were screaming. And it was quite a scene at that stage.”
Witness to London car collisions says: “Tables knocked over at restaurants. People were screaming. And it was quite a scene at that stage.” pic.twitter.com/qQwmbbzjre— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 7, 2017
According to the Daily Mail, one shocked onlooker wrote on Twitter: 'Just witnessed a car drive into people in London. Safe for now please message your friends if they're here near the national museum.'
Another user posted: 'Looks like a guy tried to mow people down at the natural history museum.'
Lesley Carter wrote: "Recommend steering clear of the NaturalHistoryMuseum - Police incident - man has mounted the curb in a car attempting to run people over."
Speaking moments after the incident outside the Natural History Museum, Emmanuel Hook , who was in the area at the time, said: "I was in a Chinese restaurant eating and all of a sudden all the diners just hit the floor and there were all these people running on Exhibition Road towards the station.
"I was sat by the window, it was really worrying seeing all these people panicking. All of a sudden a large gathering of police turned up in yellow vests, everyone was leaving their bags behind.
"People were panicking and running, no one knew what was going on, there were policemen saying go go run. We had to leave the restaurant and run off. I was worried there might be crazy people in the area trying to hurt people."
Police officers are on scene, and the London Ambulance Service have been called. Scotland Yard issued the following statement:
"Police were called at 1421 on Saturday, 7 October to reports of a collision in Exhibition Road, South Kensington."
"It is believed that a number of pedestrians have been injured. Officers are on scene, and the London Ambulance Service have been called."
"A man has been arrested at the scene. Enquiries to establish the circumstances and motive are underway. If you have any information about this incident, please call 101."
Former Met Police DCI sheds some light on what police will be doing after a car mounted a pavement near the Natural History Museum
Former Met Police DCI sheds some light on what police will be doing after a car mounted a pavement near the Natural History Museum pic.twitter.com/jDdSp8OD2A— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 7, 2017
According to Whitehall sources said the incident was "not thought" to be a terrorist attack. London Mayor Sadiq Khan had earlier said: "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."
As a reminder, this past March Khalid Masood, drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing four people and injuring more than 50 people before he was killed by an armed officer outside the Houses of Parliament. The following month Islamist terrorists killed eight people and injured another 48 after using a van to drive into crowds at London Bridge before jumping out and stabbing customers in bars and restaurants.