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Oxford Circus

Police believe 'altercation erupted between two men' before incident in London

Nine people were taken to hospital after the incident in the Oxford Street area.

police Police officers directing members of the public on Oxford Street after the incident Isabel Infantes / PA Wire/PA Images Isabel Infantes / PA Wire/PA Images / PA Wire/PA Images

Updated 10.35pm

AN EARLIER INCIDENT in central London which saw the closure of two Tube stations may have been caused by an altercation between two men.

People in the Oxford Street area were advised to stay indoors for a period this evening while officers from the Metropolitan Police and the British Transport Police (BTP) attended the scene following reports of shots being fired shortly after 4.30pm.

The London Ambulance Service took nine people to hospital following the incident. Within two hours police stood down their response after failing to locate “any trace of suspects, evidence of shots fired or casualties”.

Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations were evacuated, but have since reopened.

In a statement released tonight, BTP said it believes “an altercation erupted between two men on the platform” at Oxford Circus station.

They have released CCTV images of the two men, and appealed for them or anyone who has information about the incident to come forward.

download The two men police want to speak to BTP BTP

Chief Superintendent Martin Fry said: “Our officers, alongside those from the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service), reacted quickly and responded professionally in line with our well prepared plans.

“I know incidents like these can cause concern, but our officers are highly visible around the network and across the country,” Fry said, asking anyone with information to call 0800 40 50 40.

Nine people taken to hospital

Speaking about those who were injured, Stuart Crichton, Assistant Director of Operations at London Ambulance Service, said: “We were called at 4.44pm to reports of an incident at Oxford Circus.

“We sent a number of resources to the scene including an incident response officer, three specialist responders, and a number of ambulance crews and medics. We worked closely with other members of the emergency services at the scene.”

Several people who sustained injuries while leaving the Oxford Circus area were treated at the scene, while eight patients were taken to two central London hospitals for minor injuries. Another patient was transferred to a major trauma centre due to leg injuries.

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In an earlier statement, the Metropolitan Police said they “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” at 4.38pm.

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 … We thank the public for their patience and assistance during our response.”

Police advised people to call 999 immediately if they see anything suspicious in the area.

With reporting by Sinéad O’Carroll 

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