Liverpool Women’s Hospital: Taxi explosion declared a terror incident

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Taxi driver David Perry has been released from hospital Image HANDOUT

An explosion outside Liverpool Women’s Hospital on Remembrance Sunday has been declared a terror incident by police.

A taxi exploded and was engulfed in flames just before 11:00 GMT at a drop-off zone near the entrance, killing the passenger and injuring the driver.

The cabbie, named locally as David Perry, was declared a hero by Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson for locking the suspect inside the vehicle.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson also praised his actions.

“The taxi driver, in his heroic efforts, has managed to divert what could have been an absolutely awful disaster at the hospital,” she said.

“Our thanks go to him and our emergency services, and authorities have worked through the night to divert anything further, and we’ve all been on standby and in constant contact to provide any support that’s needed.”

She added: “Well, we knew that the taxi driver had stood out and locked the doors, we knew that early on.”

Four men have been arrested in the city under the Terrorism Act.

The head of Counter Terrorism Policing North West, Russ Jackson, said the taxi passenger appeared to have made an “improvised explosive device” which caused the blast.

Video shows the explosion at the Liverpool hospital took place almost as soon as the car pulled up at reception – with the taxi driver managing to run from the vehicle before the fire took hold.

Emerging from the smoke, the cabbie runs from the driver’s side door as a man in a yellow hi-viz vest dashes to help.

The vehicle is then engulfed in flames, but luckily at the moment of explosion, the area appears deserted apart from some parked cars.

Watch:

Assistant Chief Constable Jackson said police knew the identity of the attacker but would not confirm it at this stage.

The man’s motivation was “yet to be understood”, he added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will chair an emergency Cobra meeting on Monday afternoon in response to the explosion, Downing Street said.

David Perry
Image caption, Taxi driver David Perry has been released from hospital

Mr Jackson said he understood Delta Taxis driver Mr Perry picked up a passenger in Rutland Avenue, near Sefton Park, on Sunday.

“The fare – a man – had asked to be taken to Liverpool Women’s Hospital, which was about 10 minutes away,” he added.

“As the taxi approached the drop-off point at the hospital an explosion occurred from within the car. This quickly engulfed it in flames.

“Remarkably the taxi driver escaped from the cab.”

It is understood Mr Perry has been discharged from hospital and is recovering at home.

The male passenger of the car died at the scene in Sunday morning’s incident, and three men – aged 29, 26, and 21 – have been arrested under the Terrorism Act.

A fourth man, 20, has also been detained, police said on Monday morning.

The identity of the person killed hasn’t been confirmed but it’s now been declared a terrorist incident and investigators believe an improvised explosive device was to blame.

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