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Hainault attack: Sword-wielding man arrested near station after ‘stabbing’ multiple people and police officers

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A critical incident has been declared in northeast London after reports a man wielding a sword attacked members of the public and police officers, leading to the death of a 14-year-old boy.

The man crashed a vehicle into a house in Thurlow Gardens, before reportedly stabbing a number of people, police said.

The 36-year-old was alleged to have attacked members of the public and two police officers before eventually being arrested.

Full police statement as boy, 14, dies

Five people were injured, including the teenage boy.

Two members of the public remain in hospital with injuries that Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said weren’t life-threatening.

The Metropolitan Police were alerted to the incident shortly before 7am this morning.

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Man with sword ‘attacks people and police officers’ – follow live

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The apparent suspect carrying a sword

Pic:@ell_pht
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A man wielding a sword has been arrested, police said. Pic:@ell_pht

Fire and rescue crews as well as a number of ambulances were also dispatched to the scene.

London Ambulance Service said they treated five people at the scene, and took all five to hospital.

The condition of those injured is not currently known and officers are not looking for other suspects.

Hainault Tube station in Ilford has been closed by police after the incident.

‘Shocking incident’

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described it as a “shocking incident” and added “my thoughts are with those affected and their families”.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I am absolutely devastated by the news from Hainault this morning.

“I remain in constant contact with the commissioner. A man has been arrested and the area secured.

“The police are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident. There will be additional reassurance patrols in the area.

“The police officers and emergency services showed the best of our city – running towards danger to protect others and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Pic:@ell_pht
Image:
Pic:@ell_pht

Home Secretary James Cleverly said he was being updated about the incident and extended his thoughts to those affected.

Wes Streeting, the MP for Ilford North, wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “A critical incident has been declared in Hainault.

“There are station and road closures in place. The police, ambulance service and fire brigade are responding.”

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Multiple stabbings reported at Hainault Station in London

The scene in Hainault.
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Police responded to reports of a vehicle being crashed into a house this morning. Pic: PA


Police said the attack did not appear to be terror related.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Ade Adelekan said: “This must have been a terrifying incident for those concerned.

“I know the wider community will be feeling shock and alarm.

“People will want to know what has happened and will we provide more information as soon as we can.”

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Part of the scene of the alleged stabbing near Hainault Tube station

Pic: Jordan Pettitt/PA
Police at the scene in Hainault, north east London, after reports of several people being stabbed at a Tube station. A 36-year-old man wielding a sword was arrested following the attack on members of the public and two police officers. Picture date: Tuesday April 30, 2024.
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A police cordon has since been erected. Pic: PA

Eyewitness accounts

Witness Chris Bates told Sky News he saw a man wielding a “big samurai sword”.

He said police screamed at a suspect to drop the sword, before they Tasered him, and “piled on top of him”, arresting him.

Another witness said they heard shrieking around 7am before witnessing a man jumping over some fences.

The man, who asked not to be named, told the PA news agency: “I heard shouting, I heard shrieking – I thought ‘who would be shrieking at this time in the morning?’

“The shrieking sounded like the police – you know when they are ordering someone to stop or to get on their knees or something – it was like that.

“It was like ‘stop where you are, put that down, put that down’ – that kind of thing.

“I looked out the back window because the noise was coming from back there, I saw a bloke jumping over some fences … then he went down an alley like he was going back onto the street again.

“I saw a policeman and policewoman – normal coppers with the short-sleeved shirts – who chased after him and they were shouting for him to put it down.”

Pic: @petekingdom/X
Image:
A man with a sword has been arrested. Pic: @petekingdom/X

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Another eyewitness, who did not want to be named, told Sky News they saw someone being given CPR while laying on the ground, and a man run out of a house, with their hand “bleeding quite badly”.

They said: “I was driving up New North Road just after 7am, it felt eerie and strange, people were looking around, like they were on alert for something or someone.

“I spoke to a few guys who told me a man was on the run after stabbing people.

“I saw someone being given CPR in front of a police car and a guy ran out of a house with his hand in the air bleeding quite badly.

“It was very scary and not something you expect to happen on your doorstep.”

Another local resident said she saw a body on the ground as she hid by her window, while a sword-wielding man shouted “do you believe in god?” outside her home.

The witness, who didn’t want to be named, said: “He was wielding his sword trying to attack the police but then they sprayed him and he ran away.

“He was shouting at the police ‘do you believe in God?’, also at the ambulance.

“We were very scared and trying to hide and not show ourselves through the window, because he was standing right next to our house and he could have seen us if he looked up.

“We were trying to hide but also at the same time taking video of him attacking the police, and of the body on the floor, so, yeah, we were very scared and we didn’t know what to do.”

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