How the fatal Westminster terror attack in London unfolded and what we know so far

Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/ Getty Images

LONDON — London was hit by a terrorist attack on Wednesday and Prime Minister Theresa pledged later that evening that the capital would carry on “as normal” despite the “sick and depraved” attacks.

So far, at least four people have died and at least 20 were injured after a car drove into dozens of people on crowded Westminster Bridge and an attacker tried to break into Parliament with a knife.

The attacker stabbed a police officer, who has now died, before being fatally shot by police.

The Metropolitan Police are currently treating the incidents as terrorist attacks. It occurred on the anniversary of the Brussels airport terror attack.

Here is how the attack unfolded.


The incident began on Westminster Bridge on Tuesday at 2.40 pm G.M.T., when a car ran into several civilians.

Carl Court/ Getty Images

The car injured at least a dozen people on Westminster Bridge, including three French school children on a trip.

Carl Court/ Getty Images

Victims of the car attack have not yet been named. They were taken to the nearby St. Thomas’ Hospital. One victim died there.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/ Getty Images

Sky News reports that one civilian (not pictured) jumped into the Thames in order to escape from the attack. She has reportedly been recovered from the river alive.

Joel Ford/ AFP/ Getty Images

Radosław Sikorski, a Polish politician, captured the scene on Westminster Bridge moments after the attack, reporting that he saw at least five people injured.

Shortly afterwards, a car crashed into railings outside the Houses of Parliament. It was reportedly the same vehicle involved in the bridge attack. Twitter user Luke Steele uploaded the image below:

Moments after the car crashed, Metropolitan police shot an unidentified person in Parliament’s New Palace Yard. The man had entered the grounds of Parliament and stabbed a police officer with a knife.

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Journalist Quentin Letts, who witnessed the incident, said: “I saw a fairly thick-set man wearing black clothes running through the open gates, the security gates where people drive their cars.”

Letts added: “He started beating a policeman who had fallen over on the ground. The policeman managed to shake him off and the attacker then ran towards the entrance of the House of Commons, which is used by our members of Parliament and he got about 15 yards before the authorities responded.”

Emergency services who arrived at the scene reported “catastrophic injuries.”

Niklas Halle’n/ AFP/ Getty Images

A statement from the London Ambulance Service said: “We can confirm we have treated at least 10 patients on Westminster Bridge and have put a number of hospitals on alert as we continue to respond to this incident. We were called at 2.40pm today, with the first ambulance crew arriving within six minutes.”

The area around Westminster Bridge and the Palace of Westminster was cordoned off by armed police immediately.

Jack Taylor/ Getty Images

A witness close to Westminster Bridge told Business Insider that there were “lots of sirens” and “people running” at the scene.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/ AFP/ Getty Images

An air ambulance landed on Parliament Square carrying paramedics.

Paramedics tried to revive the injured in New Palace Yard, Westminster.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) — a former soldier — helped emergency services attend to the injured police officer.

Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) helps emergency services attend to a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after a policeman was stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament.Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA ImagesConservative MP Tobias Ellwood (centre) helps emergency services attend to a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after a policeman was stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament.

According to the Telegraph, Ellwood attempted to give the officer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and stemmed the blood flow by applying pressure to the wounds. The BBC reports that the officer in question has now died.

Facebook quickly activated its “Safety Check” in London, which lets people tell their loved ones they are OK.

This is the first photo of the suspected attacker being carried away from New Palace Yard.

Westminster terrorPAWestminster attack suspect.

Many peers from the House of Lords — along with parliamentary staff and a handful of MPs — were evacuated to nearby Westminster Abbey. The bulk of MPs were evacuated to Westminster Hall, where they remained as of 6.30 pm G.M.T.

As of 6.30 p.m. GMT on Wednesday, police are yet to confirm that the incident is officially over. Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the matter is being treated as a terrorist incident.

Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a meeting of the emergency COBRA committee to discuss the government’s immediate response to the incident.

Matthew Horwood/ Getty Images

London Mayor Sadiq Khan released a video on his Facebook page saying “Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.”

Then May addressed the nation around 9 p.m. GMT and condemned the “sick and depraved” attacks in London. She pledged normality for Britons despite today’s events.

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