A taxi exploded in the English city of Liverpool around 11 a.m. local time on Sunday morning. A passenger on board died, and the driver was injured. Three arrests were made under UK terror law.
In Liverpool – as in the rest of the United Kingdom – a two-minute silence would occur at 11 a.m. on Sunday in honour of Remembrance Sunday, a day on which the British commemorate the Second World War and subsequent conflicts. Instead, something before that time sounded like a huge bang and a taxi in front of Liverpool’s Women Hospital turned into a huge fireball. According to reports received by the police, the taxi was only just outside the hospital when the incident took place.
Liverpool Cathedral is just 4 minutes by car from Liverpool’s Women Hospital, where more than 2,000 veterans, military personnel and dignitaries gathered to observe the two-minute silence.
The police consider it unlikely that the explosion happened due to a technical defect in the car. Terrorism is assumed. The investigation is being led by the Counter-Terrorism Police, assisted by the British security service MI5.
According to the BBC, the first police raid on a house not far from the hospital as early as 1 p.m. on Sunday. It is not clear whether anyone was arrested in the process. An hour later, officers raided another house, arresting two men, according to bystanders. Three men – 21, 26 and 29 years old – were eventually arrested on terrorism charges.
The taxi driver, who was able to escape before the flames spread, was not arrested. He was hospitalized, and police say his condition is stable. The male passenger who was in the car did not survive the explosion. The latter’s identity is unknown. However, it is known that he was the only passenger.
The British tabloid The Daily Mirror reports that the passenger was said to have been a suicide bomber who asked the driver to take him to the cathedral. The man, identified by the tabloid as “the hero” David Perry, has refused and locked him in his taxi. However, according to the newspaper, Perry has already returned home.