Monday 11 December 2017

Six injured as car crashes into group of Muslims leaving Eid prayers in Newcastle

Image: MrHarrisAshmed/Twitter
Image: MrHarrisAshmed/Twitter

Samuel Osborne

Six people including three children have been taken to hospital after a car crashed into a crowd of Muslims leaving Eid prayers outside a sports centre in Newcastle.

Police said the collision outside the Westgate Sports Centre around 9.14am is not believed to be terror-related.

An eight-year-old boy is said to have been critically injured, the BBC reports.

A 42-year-old woman has been arrested and is currently in police custody.

Footage from the scene showed members of the public running towards the scene of the crash amid the sound of shouts and screams.

Hundreds of people were at the sports centre to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The six injured people were taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

A North East Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We received our first 999 call at 9.15 this morning to report a car that had mounted the kerb.

"We have taken six people to hospital, they have gone to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, three children and three adults."

Northumbria Police earlier confirmed five casualties.

A spokesman said: "On Sunday June 25, at approximately 9.14am, Northumbria Police received reports that a vehicle had collided with pedestrians outside of Westgate Sports Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne.

"Police inquiries are ongoing to establish exactly what happened but, at this time, it is not believed to be a terror incident.

"Emergency services are currently at the scene and five casualties have been confirmed.

"Police have arrested a 42-year-old woman who is currently in police custody."

A statement from the nearby Newcastle Central Mosque said the collision happened immediately after people were leaving the mosque following Eid prayers.

It said: "Immediately after the Eid prayers, when the people were starting to leave the venue, a car collided with pedestrians.

"The injured were immediately attended to by the emergency medical services and the police. All the injured have been taken to the hospital.

"We pray and hope that all those affected recover soon fully.

"We thank the emergency medical services, the police and over 100 volunteers from the mosque for their quick response to the incident.

"We were able to clear the area promptly ensuring there was no delay in the injured being attended to.

"We urge everyone to please pray for all those affected.

"The police are investigating the incident at the moment and we will give an update as soon as we have more information."

Emergency services sent to the scene included six ambulances, two paramedic rapid response vehicles, the air ambulance, three ambulance officers, four hazardous area response team vehicles and two paramedic trauma cars.

The ambulance service spokesman said the first ambulance arrived on the scene within two minutes of the first 999 call.

The UK remains on high alert for terror-related incidents involving vehicles after a string of recent attacks.

A man drove a van into Muslim worshippers leaving two London mosques in Finsbury Park on 19 June, killing one and injuring others. Police said it was a terrorist attack directed at Muslims.

Independent News Service

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