Police probe cause of Oxford Circus Tube Station incident which sparked panic
No suspects, evidence of shots fired or causalities Metropolitan Police
Police are investigating what caused panic among thousands of rush-hour commuters and Black Friday shoppers in the heart of central London.
Armed police raced to Oxford Circus Tube station and Oxford Street after receiving 999 calls reporting that shots had been fired.
But around 90 minutes after responding, police said there was no evidence of any shots, casualties or suspects.
Thanks to our police and emergency services for their swift response at Oxford Street this evening. pic.twitter.com/6lLdbxlC8L— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 24, 2017
Oxford Circus Tube and Bond Street stations have reopened, most cordons have been removed and the area has returned to normal.
This includes the Royal Variety Performance at the nearby London Palladium going ahead as planned, although the arrival of the the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge has been delayed.
British Transport Police received reports at 4.37pm of gunfire on the westbound Central Line platform. Shortly afterwards the Metropolitan Police also took similar calls.
In a statement the Met said: "Given the nature of the information received, the Met responded in line with our existing operation as if the incident was terrorism, including the deployment of armed officers.
"Officers working with colleagues from British Transport Police carried out an urgent search of the area. No causalities, evidence of any shots fired or any suspects were located by police."
Passengers fled the station on to Oxford Circus and Regent Street causing a minor injury to one woman.
BTP said there was "a significant level of panic", adding that it was "examining the circumstances of the incident which resulted in the station being evacuated".
Describing the panic, BBC producer Helen Bushby said: "I was just walking down from the BBC towards the Tube and there was a mass stampede away from the Tube as fast as they could.
"They were crying, they were screaming, they were dropping their shopping bags. It was a very panicked scene.
"People said they heard a gunshot and panic was just spreading."
Our response on #OxfordStreet has now been stood down. If you sought shelter in a building please now leave, and follow the direction of police officers on the ground if you need assistance— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 24, 2017
I’m safe and in hotel with loads of people! So many different stories flying around just hope everyone is safe 🙏🏻— Olly Murs (@ollyofficial) November 24, 2017
A big thank you for bearing with us whilst we and @metpoliceuk responded to #OxfordCircus.— British Transport Police (@BTP) November 24, 2017
Armed officers were quickly on scene, no evidence of gunfire found. The area was searched swiftly and we are working to lift cordons and reopen stations.
We have not located any trace of suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties. Officers still on scene. If you are in a building stay there, if you are on the street in #OxfordStreet leave the area. Officers continue to search the area. More updates as soon as we have them— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 24, 2017
NBH has gone into lockdown...at 17:40 pic.twitter.com/dymfLBLT2V— Jack Evans (@jackcevans) November 24, 2017
We were called at 1643 to an incident at Oxford Circus tube. Three fire engines & 15 firefighters are in attendance. Please avoid the area. Follow @BTP & @metpoliceuk for more information #OxfordStreet— London Fire Brigade (@LondonFire) November 24, 2017
Officers are on scene alongside @metpoliceuk at Oxford Circus. Please continue to avoid the area. Oxford Circus and Bond Street station are closed.— British Transport Police (@BTP) November 24, 2017
If you are on Oxford Street go into a building. Officers are on scene and dealing. More info when we can— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) November 24, 2017
Belfast Telegraph Digital