Timeline of the Westminster attack

Owen Bowcott
Members of the emergency services work to help victims on Westminster Bridge after the attack. Photograph: Niklas Halle'N/AFP/Getty Images


About 2.40pm: A grey Hyundai Tucson 4x4 driven by Khalid Masood, 52, accelerates over Westminster Bridge, mounting the pavement and mowing down pedestrians. About 20 casualties are left lying on the bridge. The victims include visiting French students, South Koreans, two Romanians and an American tourist.

The car veers across a cycle lane and smashes into parliament’s perimeter wall outside New Palace Yard.

The first calls alerting emergency services are received by the London ambulance service and Metropolitan police.

Moments later, Masood jumps out of the car carrying two knives and rushes through the gates into New Palace Yard, where he attacks two yellow-jacketed male police officers at the security gates. PC Keith Palmer, 48, who was unarmed, is repeatedly stabbed and falls to the ground.

Masood turns to run but is challenged and shot several times by plainclothes officers.

In New Palace Yard, the Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood gives mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to Palmer but he is fatally wounded.

2.46pm: First medical response arrives at the scene. An air ambulance helicopter lands outside parliament.

The prime minister, Theresa May, is rushed away from parliament by armed police and taken to Downing Street for safety.

2.56pm: Parliament is adjourned by the deputy speaker then called back for an emergency statement by David Lidington, the leader of the House of Commons. The session is then abandoned.

MPs and parliamentary staff are held in the Commons chamber and corridors as parliament goes into lockdown. Armed police sweep through the building to check there are no intruders.

3.17pm: A blanket is placed over Palmer’s body in New Palace Yard.

3.35pm: A police helicopter is seen hovering over the Foreign Office.

3.50pm: The security cordon is widened beyond Parliament Square and into Whitehall.

3.55pm: The Scottish parliament in Holyrood, which was debating holding an independence referendum, suspends its session – reversing an earlier decision to keep sitting.

3.56pm: St Thomas’ hospital, which is directly opposite parliament on the south side of the Thames, is put into security lockdown.

A seriously injured woman is pulled out of the Thames after falling from Westminster Bridge.

4.45pm: Met commander GJ Harrington confirms there have been a number of casualties.

5pm: Evacuation of MPs and staff from parliament begins, with those who were left inside the buildings escorted out in groups of 20.

6pm: Police confirm four people have died, including a police officer and the attacker. A further 20 people have been injured.

7pm: King’s College hospital confirms it is treating eight victims, six male and two female. Two are in a critical condition.

7.30pm: Those who took refuge in Westminster Abbey are finally allowed to leave.

11pm: Police raid a flat on Hagley Road in Birmingham, thought to be where Masood was living. The Hyundai Tucson used by the attacker was rented from a branch of Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Spring Hill Passage, a mile from the flat.


Midday: Isis claims responsibility for the attack, praising Masood as a “soldier of Islamic State”.