Six people have been injured in multiple acid attacks at a busy London shopping centre as police launch a manhunt to find the culprits.
Officers were called just before 8pm on Saturday to Stratford, east London, near to the Olympic Park, to reports of multiple victims having being sprayed with acid at locations around the station and busy shopping centre.
A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said: “We were called to the area around Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre to reports of a group of males spraying what is believed to be a noxious substance.
“A number of people have been reported injured at different locations – believed to be six people. We await further details. ”
The attack focused around the 1970s shopping mall, the Stratford Centre, which is next to the bus station and a walk through to the Tube station.
Massive Acid attack in Stratford.. quite a few people injured. Avoid the area. pic.twitter.com/EtmC3n5AIt
— aa. (@maybehussain) September 23, 2017
Witnesses at the scene said an argument broke out among a group of people.
A man who gave his name as Hossen, 28, a Burger King assistant manager, said he saw a victim and his friend, a known local homeless man, run into the fast food outlet bathroom “to wash acid off his face”
He said: “There were cuts around his eyes and he was trying to chuck water into them.”
Paul Gibson, assistant director of operations at London Ambulance Service, said: “We have sent a number of resources to the scene including paramedics in cars, ambulance crews, an incident response officer and our Hazardous Area Response Team.
“So far, we have treated at least five patients at the scene and taken three patients to hospital. We remain on scene.”
Police have arrested one man on suspicion of grievous bodily harm and are searching for others.
Inside the Burger King toilets, water could be seen all over the floor, along with toilet tissue and medical gloves.
Outside, people gathered at police cordons while victims were being treated behind a blue screen.
Many of those at the scene, kept inside the cordon by police, were visibly upset by the incident.
One said: “I can’t speak now, my mate’s been hurt.”
People took to Twitter to express their sadness at what happened:
Acid attack in Stratford… pic.twitter.com/ai3g6cBmmw
— Grant🎃👻 (@SnowAndBeach) September 23, 2017
— Ana Rosa (@dearanaaa) September 23, 2017
Really sad to hear what happened in Stratford, these acid attacks need to stop!!
— F4DZ (@fahim_ahmed24) September 23, 2017
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