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BBC: Oxford Circus: Platform 'altercation' caused tube panic

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Oxford Circus: Platform 'altercation' caused tube panic

  • 25 November 2017
  • From the section UK
CCTV images of men wanted in connection with the incidentImage copyright Met Police
Image caption Police want to speak to two men after an altercation "erupted" on a platform

Police have released images of two men they want to speak to, after an altercation at a central London Tube station created mass panic on Friday.

Officers want to speak to anyone who was at Oxford Circus Underground station at the time of the evacuation.

Sixteen people were treated after they were injured fleeing the station, following reports of gunshots being fired on a Central Line platform.

There was no evidence any weapons had been fired, police said.

Shoppers were barricaded inside stores on Oxford street and armed police were deployed after the alarm was raised during the evening rush hour on Black Friday.

Police initially treated the incident as potentially terrorism-related, before standing down.

The British Transport Police (BTP) said it believes there was an altercation between two men on the platform before the scare.

Image copyright Getty Images

The Met said it began receiving "numerous" 999 calls reporting gunshots in Oxford Street and at Oxford Circus station at 16:38 GMT on Friday.

The first armed response vehicle was on the scene in less than a minute from receiving the first call, Scotland Yard said.

Oxford Circus - where Oxford Street and Regent Street meet - was cordoned off, while shops and businesses were placed in lockdown.

In a statement, the Met Police said: "No casualties, evidence of any shots fired or any suspects were located by police."

But 16 people were injured as passengers fled from Oxford Circus station, in what witnesses said was "a stampede".

One patient was transferred to a major trauma centre for leg injuries, while eight people were taken to central London hospitals for minor injuries.

By 18:05 GMT, the police operation had been stood down.

In a statement, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan praised the city's emergency services for a "swift response".

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Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionFootage shows people fleeing Oxford Circus
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Armed police were deployed to the area

BBC reporter Helen Bushby said she had seen a "mass stampede" of people running away from Oxford Circus station.

"They were crying, they were screaming, they were dropping their shopping bags. It was a very panicked scene," she added.

"People said they heard a gunshot and panic was just spreading."

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