Cab driver outside Natural History Museum hits pedestrians leaving 11 injured as pics show a blood-soaked man pinned to the ground

LONDON was plunged into panic when a cabbie mounted a pavement and hit 11 pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum.

Armed cops rushed to the tourist hotspot and arrested the blood-soaked man, aged in his 40s, after members of the public pinned him to the floor on Saturday.

 A blood-soaked man can be seen pinned to the ground by three men, while two phones and debris are strewn nearby

Tourists and shoppers were filmed fleeing as the area went into lockdown amid fears of a terror attack.

But Scotland Yard later revealed they were treating the crash as a "traffic accident" and confirmed the man was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Witnesses claim the man was an Uber driver with three girls in the back of the car at the time of the crash, which left a 12-year-old girl injured.

Brave members of the public pinned the driver to the ground until cops and put him in cuffs.

 A smashed-up black Toyota Prius can be seen in-between two other vehicles - one of which was involved in the collision with the wrecked private hire car
 The black Toyota Prius — a TfL licensed minicab — hit the pedestrians in South Kensington
 The injured were taken away on stretchers as hundreds of police cars were pictured at the scene

They included pop star Pixie Lott’s fiancé Oliver Cheshire, who was sat in his Jaguar when the man ploughed into his flash car.

The model, 29, told how he leapt out of his car and grabbed the "screaming" man.

“The girls in his car said he was an Uber driver,” he told the MailOnline.

The black Toyota Prius — a TfL licensed minicab — hit the pedestrians in South Kensington, West London, at 2.20pm.

A senior government security source reportedly told the Sunday Times that the driver blacked out at the wheel.

This has not yet been officially confirmed by cops.

What we know so far:

 A woman in a wheelchair is taken away from the scene by paramedics
 Cops scrambled to the busy area surrounding Cromwell Road and Exhibition Road, bringing it to a complete standstill
 The man being held down by three men was later arrested by cops
 Onlookers are seen near the man who is being restrained by men, before he was arrested
 Three men pinned the man - understood to be the driver of a private hire vehicle - to the ground near the wrecked Toyota

Nearby museums, shops and cafes were evacuated by cops after the crash which left 11 injured.

Dramatic footage showed hundreds fleeing in terror as armed cops shouted "get back, get back".

Theresa May was informed of the incident and cops are now appealing for more information.

 One woman took a nasty fall in the rush to get away from the scene of the incident
 Dozens of pedestrians, some wheeling pushchairs, ran as panic spread following the crash

Roxanne Dervliet, from Bristol, was yards away when she saw police bundle on top of a man on the ground.

She told Sun Online: "We'd just walked past the museum and saw what looked like a car crashed into a building.

"There were 100-odd people running away.

"Police were directing people out of the way and I think one person started running and it set everyone off.

 Armed cops raced to the scene shortly before 2.30pm today
 A road sign can be seen damaged at the side of the pavement following the collision

"I was shaking, my friend was crying.

"My mum was calling me and telling me I shouldn't have come to London for my birthday.

"I went into Starbucks opposite to get out of the way.

"Everyone is very confused about what is going on. We're all shook up."

 A woman can be seen with a young boy as police escort them from the scene
 Forensic officers are among uniformed cops outside the museum in South Kensington
 Two armed cops stand guard at the end of the street where the cordon is in place
 Terror cops are said to be involved in assisting with the investigation

One American tourist, who did not wished to be named, was with his girlfriend in the KFC restaurant just yards from the smash.

He told Sun Online: "We were sitting down and suddenly saw a huge stampede of people. Some police came in and told us to get on the floor.

"Then they told us to get in the basement.

"They were pushing everyone forward and telling them to run."

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He added: "We thought there might be an active shooter. I thought it was a shooting.

"I'm still shaking a bit."

Axel Kronholm was visiting the Victoria and Albert museum with his girlfriend, and were on their way out just as the museum was being shut by police.

He said: "We slipped out just before they had time to close. A police officer was waving people to move back from the incident and mentioned in passing it was an incident with a car."

 A woman in a red blanket walks away from the scene of the crash
 Forensic officers in full suits could be seen working at the scene while dozens of uniform police stand at the cordon
 Police carry blue bags filled with evidence as they worked to establish the circumstances of the crash

A woman who wished only to be identified as Kirsten, had just arrived in South Kensington with her young cousins when they "saw loads of police and police officers in balaclavas.

We immediately turned around to get out of the area because I knew they'd close the station."

Kirsten added that her cousins are "shaken up."

One witness, who gave his name only as Leonard, said: "I was near South Ken station and there were many police.

"Suddenly a police woman officer shouted at the crowd to run, and everybody flew in panic, many people screaming."

 The injured can be seen being tended to at the side of the pavement
 Forensic officers are combing the streets for evidence

Ellie Mackay, 29, a filmmaker who was working in her apartment nearby, said she heard the crash and spotted parents rushing to drag their children from the scene.

She said: "There was a loud bang, as the car smashed into others. At first I didn't take much notice, but all of a sudden people started running away and I knew it wasn't a normal accident.

"I saw a dad dragging his kids along Exhibition Road and urging them to hurry up, and then they were followed by streams of people.

"Police officers were going into the restaurants and telling people to leave.

"Within what seemed like seconds there was a helicopter overhead and four or five vans of armed police racing down the streets, as well as bomb disposal units.

"I only just moved into the flat four days ago and I was telling people how safe I feel here."

 Police can be seen holding back crowds who are waiting at the cordon
 Dozens of emergency services can be seen at the side of the road as they dealt with the incident

Witness Jayne Witherspoon, who was in South Kensington Underground station, described "mass panic" at the tube.

One witness, Lesley Carter, said a passersby held the man down before police arrived.

She told the Guardian: “I saw the man pinned down by about six people – one guy was trying to pin him down with his four- or five-year-old daughter in his arms.

She told Sky News: "I was getting off the tube at South Kensington station, the doors opened and about 50 people came running down the tube station escalator.

"Some people were cowering in the walkway tunnels. It was just mass panic really."

Enamul Hoque, who was in a Chinese restaurant at the time, told Sky News: "All of a sudden all the clients in the restaurant hit the floor, and there were all these people running up Exhibition Road.

"All of a sudden a large gathering of policemen came up and asked people to leave the restaurant, leaving bags behind and things behind.

"I was sitting by the window. My friend went to the bathroom at the time.

"It was really worrying. I was worried it might be crazy people in the area waiting to hurt other people," he added.

 An armed police in a balaclava can be seen at the crash scene in South Kensington
 Emergency services tend to the wounded at the side of the road

Witness James Foster tweeted: "Just been locked in a cafe near South Kensington tube. Crazy. But better to be safe. Really hope nobody is seriously hurt."

A cafe manager who did not want to be named said after several people were injured when a car hit pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum police officers told everyone to evacuate.

"Everyone was in panic mode," he said. "At first we just saw a crowd gathering which is nothing unusual for us."

A worker from a cafe on Thurloe Street said he had seen a police helicopter 40 minutes before the incident which saw a man being restrained in the aftermath.

He added: "They must have been tipped off. I saw people running away and dropping their phones."

Eyewitness Greg King, a banker at Goldman Sachs, claims he was the first person to call the police after nearly being hit by the vehicle.

The 22-year-old told MailOnline: "A black Toyota went ploughing straight towards us and the crowd. I heard tyres screeching and a lot of screaming and then a massive smash which was him hitting a sign and the glass falling.

"He then turned and went smashing into the car on the other side of the road which stopped him.

"People were sprinting in all directions and then it looked like a security guard from the museum and a member of the public were pinning him down.

"He had blood in his mouth so I assume they smashed him down on the ground. He then saw what appeared to be a father with his young daughter jumping out of the back of the car.

"If he hadn't done that turn at the last moment we would have been hit and he could have taken everyone down on that side of the road.

"The car was still practically in motion when I picked up the phone to the police. The woman said: 'What do you need?' and I just said: 'Send everyone '.

"I could literally see the whites of his eyes as he turned in the road. If he hadn't turned in the road he would have gone straight into us."

 A number of ambulances were sent to South Kensington to deal with casualties this afternoon

London's Metropolitan Police said they were called to the scene at 2.21pm after reports of a collision.

The police said in a statement: "It is believed that a number of pedestrians have been injured. A man (no further details) has been arrested at the scene.

"Enquiries to establish the circumstances and motive are under way."

A spokesman for the museum said: "I can confirm that there has been a vehicle collision with pedestrians on our Exhibition Road entrance."

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said in a statement: "A number of people have been injured in an incident involving a car in Exhibition Road, South Kensington. A man has been detained by police.

"Details are still emerging and I have spoken with and am in close contact with Assistant Met Commissioner Mark Rowley and our other emergency services.

"Police have asked people to avoid the area while their inquiries continue."

The Natural History Museum is one of London’s most popular attractions and brought in more than 4.6 million visitors in 2016.

Exhibition Road in South Kensington, where the incident took place, is also home to the Science Museum as well as the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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