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UPDATE: 'Incident' at Oxford Circus tube station

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6:12pm 24th November 2017
(Updated 6:12pm 24th November 2017)

Police say they have not located any trace of any suspects, evidence of shots fired or causalities - after an 'incident' at Oxford Circus in London.

Bond Street and Oxford Circus Tube stations were closed, but have both now been reopened.

Met Police were urging people to get inside buildings and say they responded as if the incident was terror related.

Originally it was thought shots had been fired but now officials say there's no evidence of that.

Armed and unarmed officers were called to the scene and people were being urged to stay away from the area.

Eye witnesses reported people running and screaming and it's thought Selfridges was evacuated.

Some reported being caught in "stampedes" near Oxford Circus Tube station.

London Fire Brigade says it had three fire engines and 15 firefighters in attendance.

British Transport Police says it received one report of a woman sustaining a minor injury when leaving Oxford Circus station.

But there are no reports of any other casualties.

Emergency services say the 'incident' is now over.

Bryce Malcolmson, who works in Soho, said he was in Oxford Circus Tube station when he heard a call over the loudspeaker for a police officer to attend one of the platforms.

He said: "Suddenly I just heard screaming and people running out of the station. Everybody turned round in sort of pandemonium and started trying to exit the Tube as quickly as possible.

"I got up to the top by the ticket barriers and they were all open. I ran out on to the street but it was almost as if no one knew anything had happened down below.

"Within…a couple of minutes there were armed response units and police cars absolutely everywhere. I think people were so unsure what had happened they were running in all directions."

Tourist Lanna Woodward said she witnessed the aftermath of panic on Oxford Street.

The 20-year-old, from California, said: "Before it all I saw about 30 police officers speeding down the street.

"We were in the Kingdom of Sweets and then saw a massive crowd of people running and screaming. People were climbing on top of each other.

"The store we were in was locked down, the manager wouldn't let us leave - they said there had been a shooting at the entrance of the Tube station."

Pictures and video on social media show armed police at the station and people being led away from the area.

6:12pm

6:12pm

6:11pm

A Met Police spokesperson said:

"The Met response on Oxford Street 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.

"At 16:38hrs on Friday, 24 November police started to receive numerous 999 calls within a short space of time reporting shots fired in a number of locations on Oxford Street and at Oxford Circus underground station.

"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.

"Some cordons remain in place and additional officers remain on duty in the West End to reassure the public. We thank the public for their patience and assistance during our response.

"If you see anything suspicious dial 999 immediately."

6:11pm

6:02pm

5:58pm

Statement from the British Transport Police:

"At 4.37pm this afternoon, officers were called to Oxford Circus station following reports of gunfire on the westbound Central Line platform.  

"Passengers at the station then self-evacuated the station onto Oxford Circus and Regent Street area of London. 

"This caused a significant level of panic which resulted in numerous calls from members of the public reporting gunfire. 

"Officers responded in line with our procedures of a terrorist incident, this included armed officers from British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police. A full and methodical search of the station and Oxford Street was conducted by officers.

 

"At this stage, we are examining the circumstances of the incident which resulted in the station being evacuated. 

"During the station evacuation, one woman is believed to have sustained a minor injury. 

"We continue to work with the Metropolitan Police Service and are working to reopen Oxford Circus and Bond Street Tube stations."
5:52pm

Both Oxford Circus and Bond Street stations have now reopened and trains are running as normal.

5:51pm

5:49pm

Tourist Lanna Woodward said she witnessed the aftermath of panic on Oxford Street.

The 20-year-old, from California, said: "Before it all I saw about 30 police officers speeding down the street.

"We were in the Kingdom of Sweets and then saw a massive crowd of people running and screaming.

"People were climbing on top of each other. The store we were in was locked down, the manager wouldn't let us leave - they said there had been a shooting at the entrance of the Tube station."

5:45pm

Bryce Malcolmson, who works in Soho, said he was in Oxford Circus Tube station when he heard a call over the loudspeaker for a police officer to attend one of the platforms.

He told Sky News: "Suddenly I just heard screaming and people running out of the station. Everybody turned round in sort of pandemonium and started trying to exit the Tube as quickly as possible.

"I got up to the top by the ticket barriers and they were all open. I ran out on to the street but it was almost as if no one knew anything had happened down below.

"Within…a couple of minutes there were armed response units and police cars absolutely everywhere. I think people were so unsure what had happened they were running in all directions."

5:42pm

The Metropolitan Police say there is 'no evidence' of shots fire or casualties.

Updated statement here:

"To date police have not located any trace of any suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties. Officers continue to work with colleagues from British Transport Police in the area of Oxford Circus.

"Updates will be provided as soon as we have them.

"If you are in building stay in a building, if you are on the street in Oxford Street leave the area.

"Officers are continuing to search the area."

5:40pm

5:38pm

Video from the scene from one bystander...

5:35pm

5:35pm

One report of a woman sustaining a minor injury leaving Oxford Circus Station.

5:31pm

Others are also tweeting from Selfridges, with reports of people being told to stay inside.

5:28pm

Singer Olly Murs has tweeted from the scene...

5:26pm

London Fire Brigade say they have been called to the incident.

5:25pm

Sky's Home Affairs Correspondent Mark White said: "We're not hearing - at this stage - of any injuries. Still a great deal of confusion around that area."

5:24pm

5:24pm

The Metropolitan Police have issued this statement:

"Police were called at 16:38hrs on Friday, 24 November to a number of reports of shots fired on Oxford Street and underground at Oxford Circus tube station.

"Police have responded as if the incident is terrorist related. Armed and unarmed officers are on scene and dealing along with colleagues from British Transport Police.

"If you are on Oxford Street go into a building and stay inside until further direction.

"Avoid travelling to the Oxford Street area."

At this stage police have not located any casualities.

6:12pm 24th November 2017

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