LONDON — Four people died and at least 20 were injured outside the British parliament in central London, in what police are treating as a “terrorist incident.”
At around 2:40 p.m. local time, a dark grey car drove across Westminster Bridge towards the Palace of Westminster, hitting a number of pedestrians before crashing into railings on the side of parliament.
Shortly afterwards a man armed with a knife continued the attack by charging at the police manning the gates of parliament. He stabbed one officer and was shot dead by police. The officer was killed in the attack.
The two other people killed — one of whom is a woman — in the incident died on Westminster Bridge. Those injured include three police officers and a number of French school children.
The Port of London Authority said that one woman was pulled alive from the River Thames with serious injuries.
Metropolitan Police Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley said: “Sadly I can confirm that now four people have died, that includes the police officer who was protecting parliament and one man we believe to be the attacker who was shot by a police firearms officer. The officer’s family have been made aware. At least 20 people have been injured.”
He said the police operation was ongoing. “While we currently believe there was only one attacker I’m sure the public will understand us taking every precaution in locking down and searching the area as thoroughly and exhaustively as possible,” he said.
Theresa May, the prime minister, was evacuated from parliament within minutes of the incident. She will chair a meeting of the Cobra crisis response committee later Wednesday.