Terror suspected as 1 killed in car blast outside UK hospital; 3 arrested

Another person injured in explosion; armed police raid residential address in Liverpool, as probe opened under Terrorism Act

Emergency services outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in Liverpool, England, November 14, 2021. (Peter Byrne/ PA via AP)
Emergency services outside Liverpool Women's Hospital in Liverpool, England, November 14, 2021. (Peter Byrne/ PA via AP)

LONDON — Counterterrorism police in Britain were investigating an explosion at a hospital Sunday in the city of Liverpool that killed one person and injured another.

Three people, aged 29, 26, and 21, were later arrested in the Kensington area of the city under the Terrorism Act, police said.

Police had been alerted of a blast involving a taxi at Liverpool Women’s Hospital in the morning.

The force initially said the explosion had not been declared a terrorist incident, but counterterrorism police were leading the investigation as a precaution.

“So far we understand, the car involved was a taxi, which pulled up at the hospital shortly before the explosion occurred,” Merseyside Police said in a statement. “Work is still going on to establish what has happened and could take some time before we are in a position to confirm anything.”

One person died and a man was being treated for non life-threatening injuries. Police said they were “keeping an open mind” about what caused the explosion.

In a later statement, police said the deceased man was a passenger and the injured person was the driver of the taxi, local media reported.

Counter Terrorism Police North West said in a statement, “We are working at a rapid pace to try and establish the circumstances behind this and will update in due course,” the BBC reported.

A patient at the hospital told the BBC that she heard a “very loud bang” just before 11 a.m., after which the medical center’s security teams sealed the site, preventing anyone from leaving.

The Liverpool Women’s Hospital said it immediately restricted visiting access until further notice and diverted patients to other hospitals “where possible.”

Fire services said they extinguished the car fire rapidly, and a person had left the car before the fire “developed to the extent that it did.”

Armed police later carried out a raid at a property in the city, with officers sealing off the street and telling residents to stay in their homes, media reported.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted that she was being regularly updated on the “awful incident” at the hospital.

“Our police and emergency services are working hard to establish what happened and it is right they are given the time and space to do so,” she wrote.

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