Business Irish

Saturday 23 September 2017

'Our thoughts are with all of the victims' - Irish business chief among those under lockdown at Westminster following 'terrorist incident'

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A high profile Irish businessman is among those under lockdown at Westminster following the major security incident in London.

Chief executive of Retail NI Glyn Roberts had been attending a meeting at Portcullis House with shadow secretary of state Dave Anderson when he first became aware of the incident.

Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers in a major security incident at the Houses of Parliament. Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Injured people are assisted after an incident on Westminster Bridge in London, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
An injured man is assisted after an incident on Westminster Bridge in London, Britain March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster. A man with a knife has been seen within the confines of the Palace, eyewitnesses said: Victoria Jones/PA Wire
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
Police close to the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster
An Air Ambulance outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.
Police outside the Palace of Westminster, London, after sounds similar to gunfire have been heard close to the Palace of Westminster.

"My meeting had just finished and police told us all to go right to the back - that's when the panic began," Mr Roberts told independent.ie.

The first reports of an incident were made at approximately 2.42pm on Wednesday afternoon.

It is understood a policeman has been stabbed and his apparent attacker shot by officers at the Houses of Parliament.

Other people - perhaps up to a dozen - are believed to have been injured by a vehicle on Westminster Bridge in another incident a short time earlier.

People inside the Norman Shaw North building at Westminster Credit: Glyn Roberts
People inside the Norman Shaw North building at Westminster Credit: Glyn Roberts

One woman has died and a number of others have been hurt - including some with "catastrophic" injuries

Mr Roberts is currently one of many inside the Houses of Parliament while the whole building is in lockdown.

"It's very sad news we're hearing that a woman has died. Obviously a good number of other people - including a police officer - have been injured. Our thoughts are with them.

"You never think that you are going to be caught up in a situation like this," he said.

Shortly before 4pm those at Portcullis House were evacuated to the Norman Shaw North building at Westminster.

"We have just been evacuated from Portcullis house-thoughts are with the injured police officer & people attacked on Westminster bridge," he said.

"There are thousands of journalists, staff members, politicians and visitors still here under lockdown. The panic has settled down a bit, we're just waiting to hear developments about when they will lift the lockdown.

"I can't praise the security staff enough in terms of handling the situation which is still ongoing."

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