Crowds of panicked shoppers rushed for cover on London‘s busy Oxford Street after reports of a possible shooting incident at a nearby underground station, however, police have since given the all clear, finding no evidence of gunshots, suspects or casualties in the area.

The panic began at Oxford Circus tube station in the late afternoon, when a number of passengers waiting on a platform reported hearing shots; the station was soon evacuated, and Christmas shoppers on the street above were told to take shelter indoors as armed police arrived.

One woman was injured in what has been described as a “stampede”, with videos on social media people running into nearby businesses for shelter.

“I was next to the tube station and everyone started screaming and shouting and then a flood of people came up the stairs,” local man Greg Owen told reporters.

London’s Metropolitan Police have since made a statement about the incident, saying:

“At about 4.38pm we started to receive numerous 999 calls reporting shots fired in a number of locations on Oxford Street and at Oxford Circus tube station. Given the nature of the info received we responded as if the incident was terrorism, including the deployment of armed officers.”

“Our 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.”

 

The source of the panic remains unclear, but BBC News reporter Chi Chi Izundu claims that an “electrical fault” at the tube station may have been mistaken for the sound of a gunshot.

Source: The Guardian