Six People Were Injured When A Car Collided With A Crowd Celebrating Eid In Newcastle
One woman has been arrested, but Northumbria police said the incident is not thought to have been terror-related.
At least six people are being treated in hospital after a car drove into a crowd of people outside an Eid celebration in Newcastle on Sunday morning.
A 42-year-old woman who was allegedly driving the car has been arrested and taken into custody – but police said the incident is not being treated as terrorism-related.
Northumbria police said the collision happened at around 9.14am outside the Westgate Sports Centre, where prayers were taking place to mark Eid-al-fitr, the Muslim celebration of the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Police said: "Northumbria police received reports that a vehicle had collided with pedestrians."
Among the injured are three adults and three children. Speaking to the media on Sunday afternoon, Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best of Northumbria police confirmed that two of the children are being treated at a paediatric intensive care unit, while one of the adults is in a trauma high-dependency unit.
BuzzFeed News understands that the arrested woman is a Muslim who was leaving the Eid event.
A message reported to have been sent by the local imam's wife to worshippers in the community said the driver had "lost control of the car".
According to one eyewitness, the car only stopped after someone jumped in and applied the handbrake.
Videos posted to social media show people running to the scene of the incident. One man can heard telling the crowd to "move away, move away!".
Another eyewitness told the Newcastle Chronicle: "Terrorism is what everyone was thinking straight away."
Newcastle MP was at the event just before the incident occurred and posted a series of images on Twitter showing people praying in a field outside the sports centre.
Fears have been heightened in the Muslim community since a terrorist attack upon worshippers near Finsbury Park Mosque, north London, last week. A 47-year-old man was arrested and later charged with murder and attempted murder in relation to the Finsbury Park attack.
Newcastle Central Mosque thanked the emergency services in a statement. It said:
Immediately after the Eid prayers, when the people were starting to leave the venue, a car collided with pedestrians. The injured were immediately attended to by the emergency medical services and the police.
All the injured have been taken to the hospital. We pray and hope that all those affected recover soon fully. We thank the emergency medical services, the police and over 100 volunteers from the mosque for their quick response to the incident.
We were able to clear the area promptly ensuring there was no delay in the injured being attended to. We urge everyone to please pray for all those affected. The police are investigating the incident at the moment and we will give an update as soon as we have more information.
Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle city council, said in a statement: "I was at an event celebrating Eid this morning when I heard about this terrible accident.
"My heart goes out to all those affected by this, particularly as Eid is supposed to be a day of celebration for the Muslim community.
"I would like to thank the emergency services who did a wonderful job tending to the injured. The police are still investigating exactly what happened so I don’t want to make any further comment at this stage until things become clearer."
A full police investigation is already under way and eyewitnesses are urged to contact police by calling 101 and quoting the reference number 277 25/06/17.
This is a developing story – check back here for updates soon.