Police carried out a controlled explosion in Trafalgar Square this morning, after evacuating the public in a security scare, hours before thousands were set to gather at Party At The Palace.
Police tape could be seen in video footage shared from the London site, with officers diverting cars and people after receiving a call about a suspect vehicle.
The force finally gave the all-clear and confirmed that the incident wasn’t terrorism-related.
The police carried out a controlled explosion, with people reporting a loud bang after a suspicious vehicle had been discovered.
The road was closed off and pedestrians were told to get out of the area.
The Trafalgar St. James hotel was also evacuated, and the front of the National Gallery, overlooking the square was locked.
Catherine Strina told a newspaper outlet that she’d journeyed to London for the Jubilee concert in the evening.
She said that they were in the Trafalgar Square area and then discovered something was going on, and the police told them all that they couldn’t go any further. They then heard an explosion so just ran and that it was extremely scary.
She said it was very frightening and they all just ran to Charing Cross station and waited outside, and that there was an extremely loud bang.
A journalist at the scene, Jon Hansen, said on Twitter that he was rushed out of The Trafalgar St. James hotel, and he said that vehicle was left out overnight, and he saw all four windows of the car smashed out, and they were told they were waiting for a controlled explosion.
He said that they rushed them down the street and that when they got to the other side of Trafalgar, around the back, they heard a loud explosion.
He said that there was no panic and that the police kept moving people back.
He wrote that the police appeared to have it under control and that the hotel staff had told them they wanted them all out before the police detonated the suspicious vehicle or possibly a package inside of it. Others also reported hearing a deafening bang.
Westminster Police on Twitter said that officers were presently at Trafalgar Square where they’d vacated the scene and asked people not to travel to the area.
After the incident police remained at the scene, and later on the square was reopened.
Of course, safety should be extremely high in matters like this, and it’s the police who are there to keep us safe, and we should praise their commitment and professionalism. The scary thing is that this weekend’s festivities were an ideal opportunity for terrorism – a fact that we all have to face, and it’s great that the police were on top of it before anything bad transpired.
Unfortunately, security is only as good as the eyes and ears on the ground and also the alert entourage in the control rooms monitoring CCTV cameras.
It could have been seen as an overreaction, but what if that vehicle had been packed with explosives? It could have been primed to detonate later that evening when the masses were making their way to the party, and it could have been a bloodbath, and this is why security is so important.
I suspect that whoever’s vehicle it was is going to regret parking it there, and they’re going to get a massive surprise when they go back for their vehicle, but we should all be grateful that there were no fatalities.