Terror attack in London kills 7, injures dozens

Last Updated Jun 4, 2017 12:43 PM EDT

Seven people were killed and at least 48 others were injured in a terror attack in London. The attack, which Britain's Metropolitan Police described as a "protracted incident," began when a vehicle struck pedestrians on the London Bridge and concluded at the nearby Borough Market, where the suspects attempted to stab multiple people.

Police first received reports that a vehicle struck pedestrians on the iconic London Bridge around 10 p.m., Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said. Holly Jones, a BBC reporter who was on the bridge at the time of the attack, said it appeared the vehicle was driving "about 50 miles per hour" before striking the pedestrians. A witness said she saw a white van veer into people.

"He swerved right round me and then hit about five or six people. He hit about two people in front of me and then three behind," Jones told BBC News.

The vehicle then continued to nearby Borough Market, where the suspects left the vehicle and attempted to stab a number of people. Borough Market is an area in London known for its restaurants and bars. Packed with people enjoying the summer night, the area around London Bridge and Borough Market soon turned to chaos and panic.

According to Rowley, within eight minutes police had been dispatched, confronted the three male suspects, and shot them. The suspects were shot and killed in Borough Market.

One of the first responders, a British Transport officer, was among the wounded, suffering stab wounds to his face, head and leg after confronting the three suspects. He was armed only with his baton.

British Transport Police Chief Constable Paul Crowther visited the officer in the hospital and said the wounded officer was in stable condition, adding "for an officer who only joined us less than two years ago, the bravery he showed was outstanding and makes me extremely proud."

More than 80 medics were sent to the scene. London Ambulance Service said 48 people were taken to several area hospitals.

The suspects were wearing what appeared to be explosive vests, but it turned out to be a hoax, Rowley said.

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A man lying on the ground with canisters attached to his belt.  

Gabriele Sciotto

One witness inside the station described the scene to Sky News.

"I was walking out of the London Bridge station and there were police," Caroline Breniere said. "Some of them were coming by car, some of them were running. The traffic was stopped."

Another man who was nearby told Sky he witnessed emergency vehicles rushing to the scene.

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People walking down Borough High Street as police deal with an incident on London Bridge in London, Saturday, June 3, 2017.

AP

"We finished drinking at a bar and we came out onto the road and I looked to my left and there was a guy, we thought he was just drunk, he was lying on the floor," the man told Sky. "A couple seconds later, about three police vans flew past. The guys who were with the guy that was on the floor managed to flag one of the police vans down. One of the officers jumped out and started attending to the guy on the floor."

Will Haven, managing editor of The Spectator in London, told Sky he "certainly saw people who looked like they'd been run over."

Photographer Gabriele Sciotto captured a picture of one of the attackers wearing what appear to be canisters strapped to his chest near Borough Market.

The 25-year-old Sciotto said he was on his way home from a pub when he saw a man running toward him telling him to turn around and run because there was a terrorist attack. As a documentary filmmaker, though, his instincts were to keep going.

He said that at first, "it didn't look too dangerous."

The men went into Borough Market, but they turned around and ran toward the Wheatsheaf Pub after being confronted by a police officer. He said a lot of police suddenly came from the other direction.

The attackers "had no clue what they were doing. They were scared. The police were scared," Sciotto said.

He took the photograph after the men had been shot.

As dawn broke over the capital, a large area on the south bank of the River Thames remained cordoned off. Police told people to avoid the area, leaving tourists and revelers struggling to get home.