On Saturday night, a crowded London shopping mall transformed into a scene of horror after multiple acid attacks left at least six people injured by a group of males. The incidents took place at the Stratford Centre near the site where the 2012 Olympics took place. Police have since arrested one attacker, but a manhunt is ongoing for several other suspects who allegedly ran through the center and the nearby Tube station while spraying the “noxious substance.”
One Twitter user circulated this video showing first responders securing the area and administering medical attention.
According to the Daily Star, one person shouted, “I can’t see” after being sprayed. Another victim, aged 18, told the paper that at least 10 people appeared to participate in the attacks: “We were in McDonald’s and, as we got outside, my mate was surrounded by about ten guys.”
The Guardian adds that the sole arrested suspect is a 15-year-old boy, who was taken into custody for “causing grievous bodily harm.” Three victims remain hospitalized, and here’s more details from the scene:
Onlookers reported scenes of panic in the aftermath of the incident which was first feared to be a series of random attacks.
One witness described seeing a young male victim screaming in pain as his friends shouted “it is an acid attack, he is burning,” while others rushed to wash the substance from their skin.
At this time, authorities are stressing that they don’t consider these incidents to be terror related in nature.
Acid attacks, while not a new phenomenon, have been on the rise in Europe. In July, two teens were arrested in London after a series of five attacks during a “90-minute spree.” And a few weeks ago in Europe, four American tourists were attacked with acid — two directly in the face — by a “deranged” woman at a train station in the southern French port city of Marseille.