Five dead in terror incident near Parliament

Five people have died in a suspected terror incident in Westminster on Wednesday afternoon.

They include a woman who was killed when an attacker drove a car into pedestrians across Westminster Bridge, a male police officer who was stabbed by the same attacker at the Houses of Parliament and the attacker himself.

More than 40 have been injured - including some with "catastrophic" injuries.

Eyewitnesses said the apparent attacker was shot by officers after he stabbed one male police officer, who was unarmed, and approached a second officer clutching his knife at around 2:45pm.

The first photo of the man who is believed to have been the attacker in a 'terrorist incident' in Westminster Credit: PA

Around three shots rang out after the man ran through the gates into the front yard of the parliamentary compound.

The man had just ploughed a grey Hyundai i40 into a group of pedestrians on Westminster Bridge leaving many injured.

He crashed the vehicle into railings then ran through the gates of the Palace of Westminster, stabbing the officer.

The suspect had first ploughed his grey Hyundai i40 into a fence

Junior doctor Colleen Anderson at St Thomas' Hospital confirmed a female pedestrian had died in the incident on Westminster Bridge.

Anderson also said she treated a police officer in his 30s with a head injury who had been taken to King's College Hospital.

Graphic shows how events unfolded:

Police and emergency services attend the scene at Westminster Bridge Credit: PA

Witnesses described seeing a middle-aged Asian man carrying a knife and running.

Jayne Wilkinson said: "We were taking photos of Big Ben and we saw all the people running towards us, and then there was an Asian guy in about his 40s carrying a knife about seven or eight inches long.

"And then there were three shots fired, and then we crossed the road and looked over. The man was on the floor with blood.

"He had a lightweight jacket on, dark trousers and a shirt.

"He was running through those gates, towards Parliament, and the police were chasing him."

Police close to the Palace of Westminster after a policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers Credit: PA

Commander BJ Harrington of the Metropolitan Police later confirmed there were "a number of casualties" in the Westminster attack "including police officers".

One woman who was pulled from the River Thames underwent treatment on a nearby pier after apparently falling from the bridge during the incident.

At least 10 patients have been treated on Westminster Bridge and a number of hospitals are on alert, London Ambulance Service said.

Footage shows people being treated outside parliament:

An air ambulance landed in Parliament Square and a regular ambulance came in through the front gates as medics rushed to help the injured people.

Armed police cleared the area around the incident and Parliament Square was closed to traffic.

Emergency services attend a man and a police officer outside the Palace of Westminster Credit: PA

A Downing Street source confirmed that Prime Minister Theresa May was "OK".

She was seen being ushered into a silver Jaguar car as what sounded like gunfire rang out at Parliament.

May will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee later today, a Downing Street spokesman said.

Parliament and the surrounding area remains on lockdown and forensics officers are examining the car used in the attack.

Forensic officers examine the car used to knock down pedestrians on Westminster Bridge

Both the House of Commons and the House of Lords will sit at their normal times on Thursday, parliamentary authorities have announced.

Summary: Westminster 'terror attack'

  • The attacker, armed with two large knives, mowed down pedestrians with his car on Westminster Bridge at about 2.40pm on Wednesday

  • He then rushed at the gates in front of the Houses of Parliament, fatally stabbing a police officer

  • The knifeman was shot dead moments later by another officer

  • Two people are thought to have died in the incident on the bridge

  • A group of French schoolchildren were among those targeted on the bridge

  • A woman ended up in the Thames and was treated for serious injuries after being pulled from the water

  • Prime Minister Theresa May will chair a meeting of the Government's emergency Cobra committee later on Wednesday

The incident comes exactly a year after suicide bomb attacks on the Brussels airport and underground system, which killed 32 people.

More than 300 people were wounded in the attacks, which were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

The suicide bombings were Belgium's worst terror attacks. A year on, Belgium is still on a high state of alert, with soldiers patrolling the streets.

The Met Police is appealing for anyone with photos or footage of the incidents to pass it to them.

"If you have photos or film of the incident in #Westminster please make sure you pass them to police http://www.ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk" the force tweeted.