1 dead, 8 in hospital after vehicle runs into people in London

A vehicle ran into a crowd of pedestrians in north London overnight, leaving one person dead and eight people in hospital.

Metropolitan Police say the collision on Seven Sisters Road near Finsbury Park happened at about 12:20 a.m. local time.

The exact details of what happened are not yet clear, but the Muslim Council of Britain said a van hit worshippers as they were leaving a nearby mosque. 

“The driver of the van – a man aged 48 – was found detained by members of public at the scene and then arrested by police in connection with the incident,” Metropolitan Police said.

“He has been taken to hospital as a precaution, and will be taken into custody once discharged. He will also be subject of a mental health assessment in due course,” police said.

Police said the counter-terrorism team is investigating.

‘Clearly a deliberate attack’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in a statement posted on Facebook on Monday that police were responding to “a horrific terrorist attack on innocent people in Finsbury Park.”

“We don’t yet know the full details, but this was clearly a deliberate attack on innocent Londoners, many of whom were finishing prayers during the holy month of Ramadan,” the mayor said.

Britain Pedestrians Struck

London’s mayor said extra police are being deployed. (Yui Mok/PA/Associated Press)

“Like the terrible attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge it is also an assault on all our shared values of  tolerance, freedom and respect,” he said in a statement.

London Ambulance said eight people were taken to hospital, and some patients were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Earlier, the chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque also tweeted about the collision.

A Reuters witness saw at least one person being loaded into an ambulance. 

Witness Boubou Sougou told The Guardian newspaper that a van intentionally drove into the crowd and he saw one victim getting CPR. 

“It was not an accident, I saw everything. People were badly injured. The van driver tried to escape but people grabbed him. He did not say anything,” Sougou said. 

Harun Khan, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said in a statement that “ordinary British citizens were set upon while they were going about their lives, completing their night worship.”

“My prayers are with the victims and their families. It appears from eye witness accounts that the perpetrator was motivated by Islamophobia.”

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

“Due to the nature of this incident extra policing resources have been deployed in order to reassure communities, especially those observing Ramadan,” police said.

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Men pray after a vehicle collided with pedestrians near a mosque in the Finsbury Park neighbourhood of North London. (Neil Hall/Reuters)

In a statement, Prime Minister Theresa May said “All my thoughts are with those who have been injured, their loved ones, and the emergency services on the scene.” 

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, who represents the area, said he is “totally shocked at the incident at Finsbury Park tonight.”

“I’ve been in touch with the mosques, police and Islington council regarding the incident. My thoughts are with those and the community affected by this awful event.” 

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