Police rushed to London´s busy Oxford Street shopping district on Friday after reports that shots had been fired, sparking fears of a terror incident and leaving 16 people hurt as panic swept the area.
After locking down the area for more than an hour, the Metropolitan Police said officers had not found “any trace of any suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties”.
But several people were injured as shoppers seeking “Black Friday” bargains fled the scene, including nine who were taken to hospital, London´s Ambulance Service said.
“We checked over and treated several patients who sustained injuries while leaving the Oxford Circus area,” the service said.
“We discharged seven patients at the scene and took eight patients to two central London hospital for minor injuries. We also took one patient to a major trauma centre for leg injuries,” it added.
Police initially said they were responding to reports of gunfire at Oxford Circus and its Underground station “as if the incident is terrorist related”. Crowds ran from the scene, many rushing into already packed shops for safety, reflecting the nervousness in a country that has sustained five terror attacks since March.
But police later said they found no evidence of any incident, and tweeted: “Our response on #OxfordStreet has now been stood down.”—AFP