Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

The Liverpool Women’s Hospital bombing has been confirmed as a terror attack by police. 

The hospital was the target, Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson from Counter Terrorism North West said.

The driver, named locally as Dave Perry, has been widely praised for his actions, with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailing his  ‘incredible presence of mind and bravery’.

Security services are assisting police investigating the explosion which killed the passenger and injured the driver on Remembrance Sunday.

Four men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with the blast at 10.59am, around a mile away from Liverpool Cathedral where a large Remembrance service was taking place.

The three men – aged 29, 26 and 21 – were detained in the nearby Kensington area of the city, while residents were evacuated as armed police were seen in Rutland Avenue, in the Sefton Park area, until the early hours of the morning.

A fourth man, aged 20, was arrested on Monday morning. 

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12:18PM

‘Get down! Get down!’, neighbour hears

Sharon Cullen, 49, was at home in Boaler Street, off Sutcliffe Street, on late Sunday afternoon when she heard shouts of ‘Get down, get down’.

She said she looked out of her rear window and saw armed officers surrounding a property in Sutcliffe Street.

Mrs Cullen said: “I saw around five or six of them and two went round the back and put ladders against the wall and climbed up.”

Police had earlier told her family to stay indoors.

She said: “It was terrible. It’s not how I wanted to spend my Sunday afternoon.”

12:12PM

Wife of driver says her husband’s escape is ‘an utter miracle’

The wife of the taxi driver named as Dave Perry has said it was an “utter miracle” that he managed to escape the explosion in his cab. 

Rachel Perry said: “I would just like to thank each and every one of you who have messaged asking how David is. 

“He is doing OK but is extremely sore and just trying to process what’s happened. 

“There are a lot of rumours flying around about him being a hero and locking the passenger inside the car, but the truth of the matter is, he is without doubt lucky to be alive. 

“The explosion happened whilst he was in the care and how he managed to escape is an utter miracle. 

“He certainly had some guardian angels looking over him. 

“I would like to thank the amazing staff, doctors and nurses at the hospital, you were all amazing and also the police officers and detectives who have been looking after us. 

“We’re so thankful.” 

11:41AM

Increased patrols across Merseyside in wake of attack

Merseyside Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said: “There is no specific threat to the area, but I have asked for patrols to be increased right across Merseyside.”

She urged people to “remain calm, but also be vigilant and alert”, and stressed that the public should rely only on official information.

11:38AM

The key points from the police update

  1. Incident now declared a terror attack
  2. The fare was from Rutland Avenue to the hospital
  3. Taxi driver released from hospital 
  4. Being treated as ‘the ignition of an explosive device’
  5. Device was brought into the taxi by passenger
  6. Not clear what the motivation for this incident is

  7. Device ‘manufactured’, and assumption is that it was built by the passenger

  8. Police aware of remembrance events just a short distance away and timing just before 11am, but ‘we cannot at this time draw any connection with this but it is a line of inquiry we are pursuing’

11:31AM

Watch: Moment taxi explodes outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital

The moment the taxi exploded outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital has been captured on CCTV, showing the driver running to safety. 

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

The driver, named locally as Dave Perry, has been widely praised for his actions, with the Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailing his  ‘incredible presence of mind and bravery’.

He is seen running to safety from the wreckage. Liverpool’s Mayor Joanne Anderson said: “The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital.”

Security services are assisting police investigating the explosion which killed the passenger and injured the driver on Remembrance Sunday.

Three men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act in connection with the blast at 10.59am, around a mile away from Liverpool Cathedral where a large Remembrance service was taking place.

The three men – aged 29, 26 and 21 – were detained in the nearby Kensington area of the city, while residents were evacuated as armed police were seen in Rutland Avenue, in the Sefton Park area, until the early hours of the morning.

11:21AM

Hospital was target of terror attack, police say

Here is the statement from Assistant Chief Constable Russ Jackson, Counter Terrorism North West in full.

“The investigation into the explosion at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, led by Counter Terrorism Policing is continuing at pace.

“The circumstances, as we understand them to be, are that yesterday shortly before 11am, a local taxi driver picked up a fare in the Rutland Avenue area of Liverpool.

“The fare, a man, had asked to be taken to the Liverpool Women’s Hospital which was about 10 minutes away. As the taxi approached the drop off point at the hospital, an explosion occurred from within car, which quickly engulfed it in flames.

“Remarkably, the taxi driver, escaped from the cab. He has been treated for the injuries he sustained and has now been released from hospital.

“Emergency services quickly attended the scene and Merseyside Fire and Rescue put out the fire following which it quickly became apparent that the passenger remained in the vehicle and was deceased.

“Army Ordinance Disposal officers have examined the scene at the Hospital and made the area safe.

“Following discussions with Ordinance Disposal Officers, we are able to confirm that this is being treated as the ignition of an explosive device.

“Our enquiries also indicate that the device was brought into the cab by the passenger.

“We believe we know the identity of the passenger but cannot confirm this at this time.

“Our enquiries have led us to two addresses.

“The first was Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of Liverpool and at this location three men aged 21, 26 and 29 were arrested yesterday under S41 of the Terrorism Act.

“A short while ago, again in the Kensington area, a further man aged 20 was arrested under S41 of the Terrorism Act.

“They will be interviewed by Counter Terrorism officers later today.

“The Sutcliffe Street address was searched overnight and further searches will take place today.

“A second address has been searched at Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park.

“At this location significant items have been found and further searches will be necessary today and potentially into the coming days.

“A cordon is in place at this location and 8 families have been evacuated at this time.

“The scene at the Hospital remains in place with specialist examinations ongoing.

“It is not clear what the motivation for this incident is.

“Our enquiries indicate that an improvised explosive device has been manufactured and our assumption so far is that this was built by the passenger in the taxi.

“The reason why he then took it to the Women’s Hospital is unknown, as is the reason for its sudden explosion.

“We are of course aware that there were remembrance events just a short distance away from the Hospital and that the ignition occurred shortly before 11am.

“We cannot at this time draw any connection with this but it is a line of inquiry we are pursuing.

“Although, the motivation for this incident is yet to be understood, given all the circumstances, it has been declared a terrorist incident and Counter Terrorism Policing are continuing with the investigation.

“Our enquiries will now continue to seek to understand how the device was built, the motivation for the incident and to understand if anyone else was involved in it.

“We understand that this news will be of concern to the people of Liverpool and Merseyside and the rest of the UK, but it is a reminder that the threat from terrorism remains significant.

“Police, with all our partners, will continue to work hard to protect the UK and keep the public safe, but countering terrorism also requires support from all corners of our society.

“We have said for many years that Communities Defeat Terrorism, and the help and support we get from the public is a vital part of that. So we would urge everyone to remain vigilant, and if you do see anything suspicious then please report it, in confidence, to police via the Anti-terrorist hotline or gov.uk/ACT. It won’t ruin lives, but it may well save them.

“Anyone who has any information should call on 0161 856 1027 quoting Liverpool Womens Hospital incident.

“Details can be passed to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

11:13AM

Pictured: Taxi driver Dave Perry

Here is the first picture of Dave Perry – the man named locally as the taxi driver caught up in the Liverpool explosion. 

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

Dave Perry
10:50AM

Liverpool shows contrast ‘between the cowardice of terrorism attack and the bravery of ordinary Britons’

The investigation into the Remembrance Sunday explosion outside a Liverpool hospital is continuing, a Government minister has said.

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

“It is an emerging situation and the Home Secretary is being kept briefed on it,” Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden told Sky News.

“It is a reminder to us all that the threat of terrorism hasn’t gone away and how much we depend on our police and security services.”

Mr Dowden praised the reported actions of the taxi driver who was injured in the blast.

“Isn’t that the case, the contrast between the cowardice of terrorism attack and the bravery of ordinary Britons up and down the country who put other people’s lives before their own,” he said.

“Clearly we’ll have to see exactly what happened but if that is the case it is another example of true bravery and courage.”

10:50AM

The key locations in the Liverpool explosion

10:43AM

Starmer hails ‘first class’ response

Sir Keir Starmer said it appeared the response to the deadly explosion of a taxi at a hospital in Liverpool had been “first class”.

Three men have been arrested under the Terrorism Act following the blast, which killed the passenger and injured the driver on Remembrance Sunday.

The Labour leader told LBC: “It’s an emerging picture but it looks really concerning and I am sure communities in Liverpool will wake up and be very worried this morning, and particularly those in and around the hospital area.

“It looks as though the response has been first class, as you would expect. A little bit more detail is needed on what’s emerging as to what may have happened. But let’s let the investigation take its course.

“It is serious. The arrests have been under the counter-terrorism provisions so that tells you where this investigation may be – and I emphasise may – be heading.”

10:41AM

Incredible video shows moment of explosion 

10:40AM

Prime Minister praises ‘incredible presence of mind and bravery’ of driver

Speaking at a medical centre in east London, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised the efforts of the taxi driver involved in the Liverpool explosion, who has been named locally as David Perry.

The Prime Minister said: “This is an ongoing investigation so I can’t comment on the details or exactly what type of incident it was, what type of crime it may have been.

“But it does look as though the taxi driver in question did behave with incredible presence of mind and bravery.

“But I’ve got to say this is something that is an ongoing investigation. I think it would be premature to say much more than that.”

10:37AM

Arrests and evacuations in Liverpool

Counter-terrorism police have said they are keeping an open mind about the cause of the explosion and are working closely with Merseyside Police and, according to reports, MI5.

The three arrests took place in Sutcliffe Street in the Kensington area of the city, where witnesses reported seeing armed officers swoop on a terraced house in the afternoon.

Sections of Sutcliffe Street and Boaler Street have been cordoned off, with a heavy police presence at the scene as inquiries continue.

A similar police cordon was in place at Rutland Avenue, where Greater Manchester Police said a small number of addresses were evacuated as a precaution.

Officers wearing vests marked Negotiator entered the cordon earlier on Sunday afternoon – before a number of residents were evacuated.

10:37AM

‘No words spoken’ during taxi ride

A friend of Mr Perry, who set up a fundraising page for him, said that the taxi driver had picked up the passenger and that “no words were spoken” during the journey.

Jenny Phillips said: “David arrived at the hospital he noticed something not right about him. 

“David remembers a bang then going unconscious then managing to escape the car luckily by a strand of hair before it went into flames.

“David saved so many lives today at the risk of his own life, including babies coming into this world. David saved his city.

“David has injuries and burns and will obviously have further anxiety and trust issues to ever be able to carry out what he loved doing the most.”

10:37AM

‘Heroic’ taxi driver ‘diverted’ potentially ‘absolutely awful disaster’

The Mayor of Liverpool has praised a “heroic” taxi driver for his efforts to reduce the impact of the car explosion in the city.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Joanne Anderson said: “The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital.

“Our thanks go to him and our emergency services, and authorities have worked through the night to divert anything further and we’ve all been on standby and in constant contact to provide any support that’s needed.”

She added: “Well, we knew that the taxi driver had stood out and locked the doors, we knew that early on.”

However, she added it was important not to get drawn into speculation about the incident.

10:36AM

The Liverpool incident, in pictures

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

The car ablaze outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

The shell of the car behind a police cordon

Credit:
Chris Neill for The Telegraph

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

Police officers at an address in Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park, after an explosion at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital killed one person and injured another

Credit:
Peter Byrne/PA

, Liverpool Women’s Hospital was target of terror attack, police say, The Habari News

Armed police evacuate local residents during an incident an address in Rutland Avenue in Sefton Park, after an explosion at Liverpool Women’s Hospital killed one person and injured another

Credit:
Peter Byrne/PA

10:36AM

Fundraiser for taxi driver tops £11,000

A taxi firm boss has set up a fundraising page for the man named locally as Dave Perry. 

Jenny Phillips, managing director of Five0 taxis where Mr Perry is understood to have worked as a freelance driver, began raising money for “David and Rachel”. 

She said that he is now home resting with his family. 

Writing on the page, she said: “I am not doing this for publicity our trade at the moment doesn’t need it.

“It’s simply to help a family and a good guy who didn’t deserve this, and has a lot of recovery to do but deserves a medal for his actions.”

10:36AM

What was said last night?

Earlier, images of a vehicle on fire, and later burnt out, outside the hospital were shared online.

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “So far we understand that the car involved was a taxi which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thoughts are with all those affected by the awful incident in Liverpool today.

“I want to thank the emergency services for their quick response and professionalism, and the police for their ongoing work on the investigation.”

Merseyside Police Chief Constable Serena Kennedy also offered her reassurance over the incident.

Liverpool Women’s Hospital said visiting access had been restricted “until further notice”.

Patients were diverted to other hospitals where possible during most of Sunday.

In a statement, the hospital said: “Anyone with appointments at the hospital will notice an increased security and police presence on site.”

Phil Garrigan, chief fire officer of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said the car fire at Liverpool Women’s Hospital was “fully developed” when two appliances arrived shortly after 11am.

He told reporters at the scene: “The operational crews extinguished the fire rapidly but as has been reiterated by the police chief constable, there was one fatality.

“Another individual had left the vehicle prior to the fire developing to the extent that it did.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted: “I am being kept regularly updated on the awful incident at Liverpool Women’s Hospital.

“Our police and emergency services are working hard to establish what happened and it is right they are given the time and space to do so.”

10:36AM

Car blew up before it reached a stop outside hospital

A security source said the car had exploded before coming to a complete stop outside the hospital.

A witness who saw the explosion told The Telegraph: “There was a large explosion which blew out all of the windows and sent the windscreen flying into the air.

“White smoke came billowing out of the car. It is extraordinary that the driver managed to survive, let alone escape.”

One theory being explored by counter terror police is that the detonator exploded but the main charge did not. 

10:36AM

What we know so far

  1. The vehicle exploded at 10.59am outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital 
  2. One man – the passenger – has died
  3. Another man – the driver – was taken to hospital 
  4. Counter-terror police made three arrests – men aged 29, 26 and 21