UK

Oxford Circus 'Altercation': Two Men Contact Police After Mass Panic In Central London

Police responded as if a terror attack were taking place when they had reports of shots fired.

25/11/2017 10:20 GMT | Updated 25/11/2017 17:24 GMT

Two men sought in connection with an “altercation” at Oxford Circus tube station that triggered mass panic among thousands in central London last night have handed themselves into police. 

Armed police rushed to the area at around 4.37pm on Friday after multiple reports of shots fired. The incident triggered panic as people fled the station and sought shelter in stores and workers were put on lockdown in their offices.

NurPhoto via Getty Images
A cordon on Regent Street and Oxford Circus tube station

London Ambulance Service said said it took eight people to hospital for minor injuries sustained in the stampede and one person to a major trauma centre with leg injuries.

Londoners anxiously waited for news of what had happened, while MailOnline reported a lorry had ploughed into pedestrians, based on a 10-day old tweet.

Around 90 minutes after responding, police said there was no evidence of any shots, casualties or suspects.

British Transport Police said it now believed the incident was caused by an altercation between two men on the platform.

They issued two photos of men they wanted to speak to in connection with it, saying they “may have information about the incident and the circumstances around the incident”.

Police later on Saturday said that two men, aged 21 and 40, went to a police station and were interviewed.

“The investigation continues,” British Transport Police added.

Swift response

BTP Chief Superintendent Martin Fry said: “Thank you to everyone for bearing with us this evening and also to colleagues from all the emergency services who helped carry out a swift response. 

“Our officers, alongside those from the MPS, reacted quickly and responded professionally in line with our well prepared plans.”

Describing the panic, BBC producer Helen Bushby said: “I was just walking down from the BBC towards the Tube and there was a mass stampede away from the Tube as fast as they could.

“They were crying, they were screaming, they were dropping their shopping bags. It was a very panicked scene.”

The Metropolitan Police, which responded alongside BTP, said after Friday’s incident: “Given the nature of the information received, the Met responded in line with our existing operation as if the incident was terrorism, including the deployment of armed officers.

“Officers working with colleagues from British Transport Police carried out an urgent search of the area. No casualties, evidence of any shots fired or any suspects were located by police.”

UPDATE: This article has been fully updated.