London attack: 1 killed, several hurt after van hits pedestrians near Finsbury Park mosque

By @chelean on
Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017.
Police officers attend to the scene after a vehicle collided with pedestrians in the Finsbury Park neighborhood of North London, Britain June 19, 2017. Thomas Van Hulle/Social Media via Reuters

One man was arrested after allegedly driving deliberately into a crowd of Muslims in North London. Witnesses said he accelerated the van into the crowd of worshippers on Seven Sisters Road near Finsbury Park mosque after midnight on Monday. The incident, which Prime Minister Theresa May called a “potential terrorist attack,” left one person dead and about several injured.

According to witnesses, the van ploughed into about 10 people who had just left the mosque. Eight people injured were taken to three separate hospitals, with two being treated at the scene for minor injuries. One man was pronounced dead at the scene. Three people were seen exiting the vehicle.

Police were called at 12:20 a.m. BST (9:20 a.m. AEST) following the collision. They were able to arrest the driver of the van, aged 48, who was detained by members of the public at the scene, according to Metropolitan Police.

No other suspects have been identified or reported. The Counter Terrorism Command is carrying out the investigation.

A witness, 38-year-old worshipper named Mehdi, told the Evening Standard that the van “tried to do a London Bridge thing,” referring to the June 3 incident in which three male attackers deliberately crashed their van into pedestrians on the London Bridge. The suspects then ran to the nearby Borough Market where they proceeded to stab people. Eight people were killed and 48 were injured.

“The police there were almost instantly, passing in a car by chance,” Mehdi told the publication. “People were coming out of the mosque and they just drove through them. They drove through the crowds for a distance of nine metres.”

Unconfirmed reports and statements from eyewitnesses also claimed that one of the men in the van came out and stabbed at least one man. MET said there are no reports yet of any persons suffering from knife injuries so far.