by Jay Burgess, Kate Dennett, Phil Dudek, Tom Gordon-Martin, Jussi Grut, Kit Heren, Abbie Kellet, Charlie Parry, Jacqueline Shepherd
Two people have died and a man in a “hoax” bomb jacket killed and several people have been injured in a terrorist attack on London Bridge.
The male suspect was shot dead at the scene by City of London police on the bridge.
The bridge has been closed to the public since this afternoon, and the London Ambulance Service has declared a “major incident”.
A wide police cordon was in place this afternoon, extending down Borough High Street on the south side of the river.
Police told members of the public there was “no access under any circumstances”.
Unmarked emergency vehicles, police cars and vans of officers entered the cordon every few minutes.
This included specialist officers trained to deal with explosives.
The police believe that a possible bomb strapped to the body of the suspect was a fake, but are continuing to search the scene.
Members of the public who were trapped in offices and restaurants within the cordon were ushered to safety, and left the cordon in small groups.
The bridge was the site of a previous terror attack in June 2017, when eight people were killed and many more injured.
London Bridge Station was entirely closed to passengers this afternoon, with no Tube or national rail services.
Outside the station, staff and passengers were milling around the metal gates, unsure where to go.
Nearby Borough Station remains open, and was crowded with passengers.
Northern line trains are still running, although they are not stopping at London Bridge, and the Monument-side exits of Bank station are closed.
Several people were hurt and footage online appears to show a man being shot by police.
Police have confirmed the man was wearing a hoax explosive jacket and was killed – and they have classified it as a terrorist incident.
Passers-by talked of panic a matter of yards from where 11 people were killed in the Borough Market terror attack 18 months ago.
London Ambulance Service has declared a “major incident” and said they had several crews at the scene.
Bomb Squad vans were among a fleet of emergency service vehicles at the scene.
The London Bridge area is currently cordoned off after the shooting which followed a knife incident aboard a bus.
Detectives have said they are in the early stages of dealing with the incident.
One witness, Wolfgang Ketzler, sitting on a nearby bus, has tweeted footage of a shooting taking place.
A tweet from the Met said: “Police were called at 1:58pm to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge.
“Emergency services attended, including officers from the Met and City Police.
“A man has been detained by police. We believe a number of people have been injured. Further info to follow.”
Shops in the area of London Bridge Station are in lockdown. General manager Paulina of Mugshot said: “A colleague told me it was in the Monument area”
Dan Castleton wrote on Twitter: “I heard at least 10 shots fired and a couple of bangs like flash bangs serious incident.”
James Savundra tweeted: “Locked in a restaurant in Borough market following today’s incident in London Bridge. Grateful to our incredibly brave police officers for keeping everybody safe”
— amanda** (@AmandaHunter87) November 29, 2019
Police shouting for everyone to move away. Real panic setting in at London Bridge. Rumours of a shooting? pic.twitter.com/vBZoKu73za
— Timothy Johnson (@timtj) November 29, 2019
Specialist Operations Neil Basu said at 4.45pm today: “I can confirm that at approximately 2pm today, Friday, 29 November, police were called to a stabbing at a premises near to London Bridge, EC1.
“Emergency services attended, including officers from the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police.
“A male suspect was shot by specialist armed officers from City of London Police and I can confirm that this suspect died at the scene.
“A number of other people received injuries during the incident and as soon as we can provide further updates on their condition, we will. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to those anxiously awaiting news from loved ones.
“As you would expect, due to the nature of the incident, we responded as though it was terrorist-related. I am now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident. We are working jointly with the City of London Police as we continue to respond.
“Officers from the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command are now leading this investigation. I must stress, however, that we retain an open mind as to any motive. It would not be appropriate to speculate further at this time.
“Due to reports that the suspect may have had an explosive device, specialist officers also attended the scene and wide cordons are in place to ensure there remains no further danger to the public.
“However, I can confirm that at this time, we believe a device that was strapped to the body of the suspect is a hoax explosive device. Officers continue to carry out meticulous searches in the area to ensure there is no outstanding threat to the public.
“Those extensive cordons will remain in place for a considerable time and I would ask the public please continue to avoid the area.
“Public safety is obviously our top priority and we will be enhancing police patrols in the City and across London.
“I would ask anyone with information, image or footage of the incident that this be shared with our investigation team to do so on the UK Police Image appeal website. I would also ask the public to “continue to remain vigilant and report any concerns they have to police.”
+ Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation can call the Anti-Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. In an emergency call 999.
Anyone who may have footage or images of the incident is asked to send them to police via: www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk