A 26-year-old refugee from Eritrea has been killed after being hit by a police car responding to a 999 call.

The Metropolitan Police said the collision with the marked police car happened in Forest Road, east London, on Tuesday night.

It is understood the woman was a refugee from Eritrea who had been living at YMCA Walthamstow for the last 18 months.

A spokesman for the association said: “The YMCA St Paul’s Group is shocked and saddened by this news and wishes to extend its condolences to the family and friends of the resident.

“YMCA Walthamstow is supporting its residents and staff with counselling. Flowers have been laid at the site of the incident on Forest Road today by residents and staff, led by the YMCA chaplaincy team.”

The organisation serves young people and communities across London and beyond. YMCA Walthamstow provides hostel accommodation across South West, West, South and East London, as well as for some single homeless individuals.

The car had been responding to a call about a man threatening members of the public in Walthamstow. The Met confirmed the man had left the premises before they arrived.

Forest Road, east London, was closed following the collision Credit: Carla Johnson/PA

A police spokesman said the car stopped at the scene and the officers tried to help the woman before medics arrived, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Images and video posted to social media a little after midnight show at least five police cars and two ambulances near the pedestrian crossing by Waltham Forest Council.

Officers can be seen performing CPR in one video, before being joined by paramedics in later footage. A third video shows officers holding a blanket to shield the scene from public view.

Gilbert James, 44, who lives on Forest Road, said he “heard a loud bang and police sirens”.

When he came out to investigate he said he “saw the person lying on the floor”.

According to Mr James there was a “big impact” and the police car windscreen had been “completely smashed”.

“The police officer driving appeared in shock” but “no police officers appeared injured”, he said.

Investigators at work in Forest Road, east London Credit: Carla Johnson/PA

Police are trying to trace the woman’s next of kin, who are believed to be outside the UK.

The Met’s internal Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed, as has the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog.