London terror attacks: What we know and don’t know

LONDON — Details were emerging in the early hours of the United Kingdom’s Sunday morning about what we now know are two “terrorist incidents” in central London.

One occurred at London Bridge, when a van was seen plowing into pedestrians. The other was a multiple stabbing at nearby Borough Market, a gourmet food market with several restaurants that would have been busy with diners and drinkers on a Saturday night.

Both locations are very close to each other on the south side of the Thames, though police have not confirmed if two incidents are related.

What we know

At 10:08 p.m. Saturday night, London Metropolitan officers responded to reports of a vehicle colliding with pedestrians on London Bridge.

Witness Mark Roberts said he said saw a van speeding across London Bridge towards London Bridge underground station, which suddenly swerved, bounced off the pavement and hit several pedestrians. He said he heard what sounded like gunfire about five to 10 minutes later.

Another witness, Brad Myers, had just left London Bridge when he heard a “boom” behind him, which he thinks was the sound of a car hitting the guardrails or other vehicles. He said he saw someone jump into the water to avoid being hit.

Multiple ambulances were sent to the scene with the first team arriving within six minutes, according to the London Ambulance Service. An advanced trauma team was also sent by car. As emergency services rushed to respond, reports came in of multiple stabbings at Borough Market, a popular gourmet food market with restaurants that were open and busy on a Saturday night.

Witness Elsbeth Smedley told CNN that a man ran into Elliot restaurant in Borough Market, and stabbed two people before running out. As they responded to the two incidents, police were then called to a third potential attack — reports of an “incident” in nearby Vauxhall, a residential area, which occurred just before 1 a.m. (8p ET).

Police confirmed it was not related. At 00.25 a.m., police announced the two incidents at London Bridge and Borough Market were “terrorist incidents.”

People were warned to avoid the area while emergency vehicles attended to the incidents which police described as “ongoing.” British Prime Minister Theresa May calls the London Bridge incident a “potential act of terrorism.” On Sunday, she’ll chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra emergency committee.

What we don’t know

How many attackers there were, their motives and whether they were acting together are all questions being asked. The proximity of the attacks and the timing seem to suggest they were coordinated, but police have not confirmed that. The number of casualties in both incidents — ambulances are attending the injured.