Four teenagers carrying knives have been arrested after a car drove into pedestrians on a busy London road, injuring at least three people.
A woman and two men were rushed to hospital after a silver people carrier ploughed into crowds outside the Old Queen’s Head pub, on Essex Road in Islington, just before 11pm on Saturday night.
The occupants of the car fled on foot but were later tracked down by police, who said a knife was spotted lying in the street and another blade was found inside the car.
The Metropolitan Police later said four males, aged between 17 and 19, had been arrested on suspicion of offences including GBH with intent, and possession of points and blades. All remain in custody.
Shocked eyewitnesses took to Twitter to describe the carnage left by the car after it mounted the pavement.
Jade Barlow wrote: “It’s all kicking off on Essex Road, Islington... a handful of casualties and a very large knife... hmmm.
“An abandoned knife and a handful of mowed down casualties.”
Zora Suleman wrote: “Several ppl injured after a car struck several people on Essex Rd in Islington, North London [sic].”
Police, paramedics and the National Air Service were sent to the scene and the London Ambulance Service (LAS) confirmed it took three people to hospital.
Their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.
Tensions are high in the capital, just days after an attack outside Parliament left four people dead and at least 50 injured.
Khalid Masood, aged 52, was shot dead after he drove into crowds on Westminster Bridge before attacking police officers with knives, fatally wounding PC Keith Palmer.
Police said Saturday’s incident was not terror related.
They released a statement saying: “Police were called at approximately 22:55hrs on Saturday, 25 March to reports of a car in collision with a number of people in Essex Road.
“Three people – two males and one female – were taken to hospital for treatment to their injuries. At this stage their injuries are not being treated as life threatening.
“The occupants decamped from the car and fled the scene on foot.
“Four males, aged between 17 and 19, have since been arrested on suspicion of a variety of offences including GBH with intent and possession of points and blades. All four remain in custody.
“Two knives were recovered at the scene; one inside the car and one found near to the car.
“Enquiries into the circumstances continue.”
An ambulance spokesman said: “We sent a number of resources to the scene including three ambulance crews, an incident response officer and a paramedic in a car.
“We treated three patients at the scene and took them as priority to hospital.”
The scene was quickly sealed off by police who put a cordon in place, and some road closures remain in place.