Man caught up in Liverpool attack describes horror moments after taxi explosion

, Man caught up in Liverpool attack describes horror moments after taxi explosion, The Habari News
, Man caught up in Liverpool attack describes horror moments after taxi explosion, The Habari News

The suspect, named by the police as Emad Al Swealmeen, was killed in the blast. Reports suggest he was locked inside the taxi in which he arrived at the scene by quick-thinking cabbie David Perry.

Liam Spencer, a resident of the city and former worker at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital, told the Liverpool Echo that he ran to help after he heard an explosion outside the hospital, where the terror suspect was “engulfed in flames”.

He had “swung by” the hospital with his girlfriend to say hello to old colleagues. “But as I was getting ready to leave, I just heard this explosion – this loud bang.”

He said: “I ran out and saw the car had exploded. My first thought was just to grab my girlfriend and get her close to the building or inside so she’s out of the way.”

When he saw the man in the car, “he was on fire”.

Mr Spencer claims that the driver was already out of the car, “in quite an awful state”, though he did not see him leave the vehicle.

His priority was to help the trapped man – who we now know to have been the terror suspect – out of the car.

He said: “I didn’t want to injure myself but I was looking at the best way to get him out of the car.

“I initially went close to see if I could grab him because the flames weren’t as big at that point.

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“As I got close the flames engulfed him and that’s when I ran to go and get a fire extinguisher and then the security came out with one.”

, Man caught up in Liverpool attack describes horror moments after taxi explosion, The Habari News

Mr Spencer even attempted to move his own car, parked close to where the taxi had stopped, so as to prevent further destruction, but thought: “What am I doing in this car, my life’s not worth it so I just got out.”

Emergency services arrived shortly after and put out the flames.

After finding out that the explosion was being treated as an act of terrorism, Mr Spencer said he and his girlfriend were “shocked”.

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He added: “We still can’t believe it’s real…

“I keep thinking about the situation and then the adrenaline comes back to me. I just keep thinking about how it all happened so quickly.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel raised the terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe” following the explosion.

This means an attack is highly likely.

Mr Perry, the taxi driver reported to have locked Al Swealmeen in his cab, has been praised by the Prime Minister for his ”incredible presence of mind and bravery”.

He was dispatched from hospital shortly after the incident.

His wife said in a post on social media that “he is without a doubt lucky to be alive”.