1 arrest, 6 hurt after car strikes pedestrians at Eid event

Northumbria Police have said they do not believe the incident was terror-related. Picture: PA
Northumbria Police have said they do not believe the incident was terror-related. Picture: PA
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Six people are being treated in hospital after a woman crashed her car into a crowd following Eid celebrations with her family in Newcastle.

The 42-year-old woman was arrested after the collision, which happened at around 9.14am outside Westgate Sports Centre, in the city, where a large number of people were attending prayers for the religious festival.

Northumbria Police said they had no reason to believe the incident was terror-related.

The six casualties, including three children, were taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

Two of the children are in paediatric intensive care and one adult is in the trauma high dependency unit.

The remaining three are believed to have serious but not life-threatening injuries, police said.

Assistant Chief Constable Darren Best said: “At approximately 9.14am we received reports that a car had collided with pedestrians outside of Westgate Sports Centre, in Newcastle city centre.

“At that time a large number of people were in the area celebrating the religious festival Eid that is held to mark the end of Ramadan.

“What we have established is that a 42-year-old female has been celebrating Eid with her family, she then got into her car and has collided with six people in the crowd.

“We have no information to suggest this is terror-related, however, this is a serious collision with multiple casualties and extensive inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances around this tragic incident.”

Mr Best said extra officers are on patrol around communities in the area to answer any questions or concerns.

Specially trained family liaison officers are working with the affected families.

Earlier, a North East Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We received our first 999 call at 9.15 this morning to report a car that had mounted the kerb.

“We have taken six people to hospital, they have gone to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, three children and three adults.”

Emergency services sent to the scene included six ambulances, two paramedic rapid response vehicles, the air ambulance, three ambulance officers, four hazardous area response team vehicles and two paramedic trauma cars.

The ambulance service spokesman said the first ambulance arrived on the scene within two minutes of the first 999 call.

A statement from the nearby Newcastle Central Mosque said the collision happened immediately after people were leaving the area following Eid prayers.

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.”

Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle Central, tweeted about the incident after attending the prayers.

The MP said: “So sad, I was at the prayers earlier and there were so much joy and unity. Thinking of those affected by what I am told was terrible accident.”

Any witnesses, or anyone with any information, are asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference number 277 25/06/17.