Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 August 2019

London’s Oxford Circus reopened after mass evacuation sparked by "incident"

Police were called to the scene as office staff left for the end of the day and joined throngs of sales shoppers on one of the busiest shopping days of the year

An incident is underway on Oxford Street in central Londo. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
An incident is underway on Oxford Street in central Londo. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Black Friday shoppers were told to take cover inside buildings while police responded to reports of shots fired on Oxford Street and in the underground on Friday.

Armed police were stood down less than two hours after police were called to the scene as the incident was declared over.

Both Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations closed during the police investigation but reopened after around an hour. Tottenham Court Road station closed to prevent overcrowding.

Police were called at 16:38hrs and the Metropolitan police issued a statement saying police responded as if the incident is terrorist related. Armed and unarmed officers were on scene.

No suspects or evidence of shots fired has been found by police, and after an hour the incident began to wind down.

Many shoppers and office workers leaving work were caught up in the incident and significant panic spread on the street.

People were warned to avoid the area in London's West End or if in the area already people were advised to take cover in buildings until further notice.

The only casualty reported so far is one woman with a minor injury. It is not known if this was as a direct result of the incident or if it occurred during the evacuation of the area.

Large numbers of people were seen running away from the station, with reports of panicked and confused shoppers screaming and crying.

Several people on Twitter reported that they are on lockdown in shops and bars in the area.

Twitter user Greg 0wen posted that he was on lockdown in a nearby shop and that he believed there was a man with a gun in the area.

Some on the social media site suggested the attack may be a gang attack, rather than a terrorist incident.

Updated: November 24, 2017 10:55 PM